President Trump along with Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue have introduced a revolutionary immigration bill which would cut immigration numbers by half and favor highly skilled immigrants who can speak English.
The bill is modeled after other merit-based immigration systems like they have in Canada and Australia. The bill appears to be written in such a way that it may actually favor European immigrants for the first time since 1965.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced his support Wednesday for legislation that would cut in half the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States while moving to a "merit-based" system of entry.
"That is why we are here today: Merit-based," Trump said, joined at the White House Roosevelt Room podium by the bill's sponsors, Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ar., and David Perdue, R-Ga.
The RAISE Act, which Cotton and Perdue introduced in February, would scrap the current lottery system to get into the U.S. and instead institute a points-based system for earning a green card. Factors that would be taken into account include English language skills, education, high-paying job offers and age.
New immigrants would also be prevented from collecting welfare, an issue Trump had spoken to in recent months.
"That's a very big thing. They're not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare," Trump said.
Here's Trump's statement from WhiteHouse.gov:
A SURGE IN UNSKILLED IMMIGRATION: For decades, low-skilled and unskilled immigration into the United States has surged, depressing wages and harming America's most vulnerable citizens.
Our system does not prioritize the most highly skilled immigrants--just 1 out of every 15 immigrants to the United States comes here because of their skills.
On average, 1 million immigrants are accepted into the United States for legal permanent residency annually, and most of them are low or unskilled workers. This influx is the equivalent of adding more than the population of San Francisco to the country every year.
More than 50 percent of all immigrant households receive welfare benefits, compared to only 30 percent of native households in the United States that receive welfare benefits.
Immigrants with a college education or higher are, on average, less likely to be welfare recipients than those without the same degree of education.
Since 1979, Americans with a high school diploma or less have seen their real hourly wages decline.
American workers without a high school diploma have seen their real hourly wages fall by 17 percent.
THE RAISE ACT PUTS AMERICAN WORKERS FIRST: President Donald J. Trump supports the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act to prioritize immigrants based on the skills they bring to our Nation while safeguarding the jobs of American workers.
The RAISE Act replaces the current permanent employment-visa framework with a skills-based system that rewards applicants based on their individual merits.
The system rewards education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, past achievements, and entrepreneurial initiative.
This system is similar to the merit-based immigration systems used by Canada and Australia.
The RAISE Act reduces overall immigration numbers to limit low-skilled and unskilled labor entering the United States.
The RAISE Act prioritizes immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and minor children, but ends preferences for extended family members and adult children.
United States citizens needing to take care of elderly parents can receive renewable, temporary visas for them.
The RAISE Act eliminates the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.
The RAISE Act limits permanent resident status for refugees to 50,000 a year, in line with the 13-year average.
A PROMISE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: The RAISE Act follows through on President Trump's promise to the reform our immigration system to put America first.
President Trump on July 26, 2017:
"As we speak, we are working with two wonderful Senators, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, to create a new immigration system for America. Instead of today's low-skill system, just a terrible system where anybody comes in."
President Trump on February 28, 2017:
"Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on our taxpayers."
"Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, we will have so many more benefits. It will save countless dollars, raise workers' wages, and help struggling families -- including immigrant families -- enter the middle class."
I'd prefer zero immigration and mass deportations, but this is a good start.