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Trump Backs Plan For Skills-Based Immigration System

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Donald Trump threw his support Wednesday behind legislation that looks to curb the level of legal immigration into the United States by proposing a skills-based immigration system.

Trump backed the effort from Republican Sens. David Perdue and Tom Cotton in a speech at the White House. But the plan faces long odds in Congress.

Top White House aides have been working with Perdue and Cotton on the bill that — if passed — would dramatically remake the current immigration system, which allows a number of ways to bring family members to the US along with job-based visas.

Trump cast the proposal as a way to protect American workers by reducing unskilled immigration and creating a merit-based system that grades possible immigrants based on their ability to work in the United States.

“It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers,” Trump said of the current immigration system, specifically citing low-income and minority workers.

The bill, Trump said, “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century.”

Long odds in Congress

The effort is expected to be met with skepticism from both Democrats and Republicans. But Trump’s support could help the measure gain traction.

Cotton, of Arkansas, and Perdue, of Georgia, initially unveiled the “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act” in February, arguing that the bill will “help raise American workers’ wages by restoring legal immigration levels to their historical norms and rebalancing the system toward employment-based visas and immediate-family household members.”

“We are taking action to fix some of the shortcomings in our legal immigration system,” Perdue said at the time. “Returning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages.”

Cotton’s office told CNN in July that the bill will be reintroduced with slight changes, but that the goal remains reducing legal immigration to the United States by 50%.

The original version of the bill cut back on what’s referred to as “chain migration,” ways of immigrating to the United States that are based on family or not based on skills. The bill would limit the types of family members of immigrants that can also be brought to the US to primarily spouses and minor children, would eliminate the international diversity visa lottery and limit the number of annual refugee admissions.

White House aides involved in the current effort include Stephen Miller, a senior adviser for policy and a Trump speechwriter; Julia Hahn, a special assistant to the President; and Andrew Bremberg, a policy aide.

Trump has long said he wants to reform the nation’s immigration system, but any plan to do that seems like less of a priority for an administration that is now focused on health care, tax reform and a host of international issues.

“What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One in July. “But our country and political forces are not ready yet.”


  • Ernie

    You need to speak and write in English coherently. Looks like ninety percent of NEPA will be leaving the country.

    “Those liberals are so judgemental because they spell right”.

  • pervert on a golf cart

    Wheres the wall? Wheres him strict immigration? Wheres his Merica first? Oh, the tRUMPlings are finding out the meaning of being torch lighted. Where are his jobs manufacturing his ties? Hes cutting welfare tRUMP supporters. And he is STILL bringing in immigrants. Your poor kids and grand kids are going to suffer. If you want to see their future, google a country in South America. I wont name to country, learn how to learn.

    • Are you kidding!?!

      I believe that those powers are vested in the Congress. Talk to them. Trump has fulfilled almost every promise that is within the power of the Executive Branch.

      • Shame for America's Children

        You are joking, right? Should we start with golf, him working 7 days a week in the White House (which he called a dump), and demonstrating even a sliver of leadership and management skills. Do you think Trump has an ideology beyond making money? Everything he says is a lie. What a joke seeing him “praying” (for more money I guess) with the religious leaders. I didn’t realize that making this country the laughing stock of the world was a campaign promise. I am ashamed that our children have to see this.

  • Lloyd schmucatelli

    I suppose anyone who opposes Trump. Good or bad, right or wrong. I dealt with Obama for eight years, you can deal with Trump.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Oppose, not suppose. Crap, my spelling error negates my opinion once again.

      SCUBA Steve, damn you!

  • Jeff Woehrle

    From the looks of the comments below, liberals are soiling themselves over President Trump…again.


  • Conroy

    Illegal immigration is one thing, legal is another. You can’t just turn someone away from immigration because they aren’t a doctor or an engineer. That’s messed up and unfair.

  • lookback

    When your Presidency is failing go back to what you know, racism. I wonder which “skill set” all of his foreign wives have or had and did they charge by the hour?

  • Reason

    The first one admitted in this program should be to serve as President of the USA. We don’t have one at this time — just a child in a suit.

  • Jeff Woehrle

    Liberal sacred cows are falling faster than Hillary without a fence post to lean on.
    God Bless President Trump.

  • Are you kidding!?!

    If Trump sticks to the Americans and America first, he can’t lose. Keep sticking to this platform.

    Anyone in Congress who votes against this is voting against Americans. Well played.

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