Trump backs stiff curbs on legal immigration




 

Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw his weight behind efforts to give English-speakers priority for US residency cards and halving the number of legal migrants admitted to the country.

Trump backed proposals that would reform the process of obtaining a US "green card" by introducing a points-based system favoring skilled anglophone workers.

Around one million immigrants are granted permanent residency each year, but the draft legislation -- presented at the White House by Trump and two senators who crafted it -- aims to cut that number by around 50 percent.

It would also put a cap on the number of refugees able to gain permanent residency at 50,000 a year.

Trump hailed what he described as "the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century."

The legislation has only a slim chance of passing in Congress, but gives the White House an opportunity to show Trump's base supporters that he is trying to live up to his hardline promises.

Standing in the Roosevelt Room flanked by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Trump said that the United States had admitted too many low-skilled workers and claimed they were taking jobs from Americans.

"This policy has placed pressure on American workers, taxpayers and community resources," he said. "It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers."

He pointed to the benefits of a Canadian- or Australian-style points-based system.

"This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy," he said.

Trump said the new system, if approved, would "help ensure that newcomers to our wonderful country will be assimilated, will succeed and achieve the American dream," while also protecting "struggling American families."

Critics say that the proposals would actually result in falling wages, by slashing the number of migrants creating jobs.

The National Academy of Sciences studied two decades of data and found the impact of immigration on the wages of American-born workers to be "very small."

The academy also concluded that "immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the US," although first-generation immigrants do place more of a burden on state resources.

But Trump's message is likely to resonate strongly with low-skilled white workers who have seen wages stagnate and believe their long-held cultural dominance is being eroded.

Trump has made tackling illegal immigration from Latin America a key plank of his politics.

He has promised to build a "wall" on America's southern border with Mexico and tackle violent Hispanic gangs at home.

But the effort to curb legal immigration is unlikely to be universally welcomed by business leaders or within the Republican Party.

Cotton first introduced the proposals in February to the Senate, where they have been stalled ever since.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is calling on President Donald Trump to resign over the more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Trump pays tribute to civil rights heroes amid protests
Trump pays tribute to civil rights heroes amid protests

President Donald Trump paid tribute Saturday to the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement whose sacrifices help make the United States a fairer and more just country, though protests surrounding ...

Trump slams
Trump slams 'vicious' media after erroneous reports on WikiLeaks, Russia

Donald Trump on Saturday renewed his onslaught against major US news networks, accusing them of launching a "vicious" assault on his presidency as he seized on a reporting error by CNN. Trump sounded the same anti-media narrative in a speech Friday in Florida when, pointing to a reporting error by ABC, he said, "Did you see all the corrections the media's been making? The US president regularly rails against top news outlets, both broadcast networks and newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Trump tells Alabama the
Trump tells Alabama the 'future of the country' depends on electing Roy Moore

Just four days to go before a closely watched special election to fill Alabama's open U.S. Senate seat, President Donald Trump urged voters to turn out for Republican Roy Moore and took his support a step further, pointedly mocking one of the women who has accused Moore of sexual misconduct. Speaking

Trump says US
Trump says US 'cannot afford' Roy Moore loss in Alabama

President Donald Trump on Friday urged voters to elect a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, warning that America "cannot afford" to ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.