President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that he is working with two Republican senators to implement a merit-based immigration system.
“As we speak, we are working with two wonderful senators, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, to create a new immigration system for America,” Trump announced at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio. “Instead of today’s low-skilled system — just a terrible system where anybody comes in — people that have never worked, people that are criminals; anybody comes in — we want a merit-based system — one that protects our workers, our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy.”
“We want it merit-based. We want people that work really hard in their country and that are going to come into our country and work really, really hard. We don’t want people that come into our country and immediately go on welfare and stay there for the rest of their lives. We’re not going to do it.”
Senators Cotton and Perdue have introduced the RAISE Act, which is a bill that makes great strides toward ending chain-migration. Under current law, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (green card holders) can sponsor their siblings, parents, and married adult children for visas. The RAISE Act would only allow children under the age of 18 and spouses to be sponsored.
It would also end the diversity visa lottery, which benefits 50,000 immigrants a year from countries that have low rates of immigration to America, as well as limit refugee resettlement to 50,000 refugees per year. (RELATED: Immigration Skeptics Make The Economic Case For Less Legal Migration)
The two senators have said that the bill would cut overall immigration by around 50 percent after ten years, from 1 million new immigrants a year to 539,958.