Legal immigration to America could be cut in half under proposed new legislation.
The legislation, which has been introduced by Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, has already been endorsed by President Donald Trump. The proposal would see a significant reduction in the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter America annually for the first time since 1965. The green card limit has remained fairly stable since then.
However, in spite of the planned reduction, Senator Cotton says that the number of high skilled visas offered each year will actually double, while there will be no changes to the H1-B and H2-B visa programmes. Instead, the visa lottery scheme which provides visas to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration will be eliminated, while some family visas will also be scaled back. The plan would also slash the number of refugees allowed to enter America each year.
“This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first, and puts America first,” said President Trump, during an event in the White House’s Roosevelt Room yesterday.
During a press briefing yesterday, White House adviser Stephen Miller was keen to promote the policy.
“The most important question when it comes to the US immigration system is who gets a green card,” he said. “Every year, we issue a million green cards to foreign nationals from all the countries of the world, but we do so without regard to whether that applicant has demonstrated a skill that can add to the US economy; whether they can pay their own way or be reliant on welfare; or whether they’ll displace or take a job from an American worker.
“And as a result of this policy, in place now for many years, we’ve seen significant reductions in wages for blue collar workers, massive displacement of African American and Hispanic workers, as well as the displacement of immigrant workers from previous years who oftentimes compete directly against new arrivals who are being paid even less.”
President Trump has previously hinted that he would like to see America adopt an Australian-style immigration policy which aims to closer match skilled immigrants with jobs in the demand in the country.
Article published 3rd August 2017