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Trump Supports Plan To Cut Legal Immigration

This article is more than 5 years old.

We're talking about Trump's immigration plans. How the president's immigration revamp would remake America.

President Donald Trump, flanked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R- Ark., left, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, during the unveiling of legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration. (Evan Vucci/AP)
President Donald Trump, flanked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R- Ark., left, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, during the unveiling of legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Big changes pushed yesterday by the Trump administration on American immigration. Profound changes, if they go through. Legal immigration to be slashed by half. Family connections downgraded as a priority. New priorities? Education, English, high-paying job offers. Would your family have made that cut? The Trump White House says this would be great for American workers. Others say no. This hour On Point: a radical remake proposed for American immigration. -- Tom Ashbrook


Alan Gomez, immigration reporter at USA Today. (@alangomez)

Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent at the New York Times. (@peterbakernyt)

Roy Beck, founder, president and CEO of NumbersUSA. (@RoyBeck_NUSA)

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

From Tom's Reading List

USA Today: Sweeping Trump plan to upend and slash legal immigration draws rebukes — "In a mere three-minute speech at the White House, President Trump proposed Wednesday a sweeping new U.S. immigration system that would overturn the rules for becoming an American citizen and cut in half the number allowed in. His comments marked a radical break from decades of bipartisan consensus on legal immigration, and the reaction was swift and severe, drawing rebukes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who called it a non-starter. Some worried about the impact on their state economies, and others about the nation's tradition as a refuge for immigrants."

New York Times: Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half — "President Trump embraced a proposal on Wednesday to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country. The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades and represents the president’s latest effort to stem the flow of newcomers to the United States. Since taking office, he has barred many visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, limited the influx of refugees, increased immigration arrests and pressed to build a wall along the southern border."

TheStreet: Trump's Immigration Cuts Could Foil His Promises for Economic Growth — "Trump announced his support for the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act on Wednesday. The legislation, put forth by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), seeks to prioritize high-skilled, English-speaking immigrants and immediate family households, overhaul the visa lottery, restrict refugee immigration and reduce immigration by half. If the bill were to become law, it would render next-to-impossible Trump's already lofty goals for economic growth. The White House has set a goal of achieving 3% economic growth through a mix of tax reform, deregulation and other measures. Most economists say immigration would be a key contributor to achieving that mark."

Your Immigration And Economy Stories

"I am the first generation in my immediate family to be born in the U.S. Neither of my parents spoke English when they arrived, and neither went any farther in school than the 8th grade. They would not have been allowed in under the proposed policy. Both my brother and I earned Ph.D.'s and have worked in good jobs all our lives, paying taxes and contributing to the U.S. in other ways as well. My father came here legally with his family and siblings. My mother came to the U.S. as a teenager with her single mother. They did not speak English and entered illegally. My mother taught herself to read by reading true romance pulp magazines. She and my grandmother sewed to earn a living. My father did not know my mother was illegal until long after they married. My mother became a citizen after I was born." -- Sandra

"My husband's grandparents were illiterate immigrants; his father quit school at 10th grade to go to work. My husband has a master's degree from a state university, and our children graduated from Cornell. So our family went from penniless illiteracy to the Ivy League in three generations. While I admire the successes of the Canadian and Australian immigration policies, there's a reason we call it the American dream. I hope we don't lose it." -- Vanessa

"I own a landscape business in Omaha, Nebraska. We simply cannot find or hire enough workers. Our starting wage is $14 per hour. Our average wage is $17 per hour and everyone gets health insurance and retirement benefits. I am friends with a hotel manager who has the same issue. Here in Omaha you cannot walk one block without finding a business that is not hiring. We have a severe labor shortage! Yet we still have panhandlers. We have had several applicants that did not show up to their interview once they learned of our pre-employment drug test. If they really want a job they could get one. This is hard work and not a lot of people are cut out for it. Bottom line is we need more laborers willing to do the hard work." -- Nate

"I am an immigrant from Venezuela, living in Iowa. I had an international student visa (so I didn't have access to financial aid or scholarships even though I had a 3.73 GPA), attended a state school in South Dakota, then a skilled guest worker (H1-B) visa and now a green card. I have studied and gained many skills that make me competitive in the market, and many immigrants ('skilled' or manual laborers) also are competitive and willing to take two or three jobs that Americans are not willing to take, plain and simple, especially because they have access to welfare or unemployment benefits and many immigrants do not (you have to have a green card for give years to be eligible and other types of foreign visas cannot have access to benefits)." -- Vanessa

This program aired on August 3, 2017.


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