President Trump, along with White House Aide Stephen Miller and Republican members of Congress, are seeking to cut legal immigration in half by the year 2027. According to Politico, Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, with the support of the president, will be introducing legislation to that effect later in the summer. Currently, the United States accepts approximately 1 million legal immigrants into the United States – this bill would attempt to slash that number over the next 10 years to about 500,000.
This legislation would mean a substantial overhaul of the immigration system. The Senate bill, according to both Politico and New York Magazine, will aim to significantly reduce the number of family members that U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents may sponsor to immigrate to live in the United States. Meanwhile, it will seek to increase the number of immigrant visas available for workers who have specialized skills or advanced degrees. It would also eliminate the diversity visa, which awards 50,000 immigrant visas per year on a lottery basis to people all around the world.
Republicans in Congress and the White House believe that such changes will help improve wages and employment for U.S. Citizens. Caroline Rabbitt, spokeswoman for Senator Cotton, stated that “Cotton knows that being more deliberate about who we let into our country will raise working-class wages, which is why an overwhelming majority of Americans support it.”
Meanwhile, many others say that legal immigration does not undercut American jobs. Just last year, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a report stating that immigration has a marginal effect on the U.S. Citizen workforce, as it contributes to neither wage depression nor unemployment. Rather, the report finds, immigration helps to improve wage growth, and is a net positive on the American economy.
The bill to be introduced later this year will likely be a revision of the RAISE Act, which Senators Cotton and Perdue introduced in February.
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