WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday embraced legislation from two Republican senators that would place new limits on legal immigration and seek to create an system based more on merit and skills than family ties.
Trump joined with Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas to trumpet the bill, which has so far gained little traction in the Senate. The president said if approved the measure would represent “the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century.”
The president has made cracking down on illegal immigration a hallmark of his administration and has tried to slash federal grants for cities that refuse to comply with federal efforts to detain and deport those living in the country illegally.
But he has also vowed to make changes to the legal immigration system, arguing that immigrants compete with Americans for much-needed jobs and drive wages down.
Trump’s public support of the bill puts him at the center of efforts to make changes to the legal immigration system, with a focus on a skills-based system that the bill’s supporters say would make the U.S. more competitive, raise wages and create jobs.
Video of Announcement
Perdue and Cotton introduced the legislation in February. It would change the 1965 law to reduce the number of legal immigrants, limiting the number of people able to obtain green cards to join families already in the United States.
The bill would also aim to slash the number of refugees in half and eliminate a program that provides visas to countries with low rates of immigration.
Cotton told reporters the bill would double the number of green cards available to high-skilled workers and…
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