Trump Wants to Cut Legal Immigration by Half

Getty Images
August 2, 2017

President Donald Trump, along with Sens. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and David Perdue (R., Ga.), will unveil their plan on Wednesday that may cut legal immigration by half, according to the Weekly Standard.

An aide to Cotton says the purpose of the legislation is to raise wages and create jobs for the American worker and have the U.S. immigration system be more skill based.

"Our current immigration system is outdated and doesn't meet the diverse needs of our economy," Caroline Rabbitt, a Cotton aide, told the Weekly Standard. "Senator Cotton and Senator Perdue will join President Trump to unveil legislation aimed at creating a skills-based immigration system that will make America more competitive, raise wages for American workers, and create jobs."

The Washington Post did a survey of economists about Trump's restriction of legal immigration. Most economists said it was a bad idea and that it would hurt the economy.

"Restricting immigration will only condemn us to chronically low rates of economic growth," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "It also increases the risk of the recession."

The two senators have been working closely with White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller on the new legislation. It is unclear whether the new legislation has the support to pass through both chambers of Congress.

Trump made illegal immigration a top priority throughout the campaign, with a promise to build a wall along the southern border and to deport millions of undocumented immigrants who reside in the United States. The Justice Department recently announced that they would withhold funding grants to cities that would not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.