Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigration

Article publisher: 
The Hill
Article date: 
3 August 2017
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

President Trump on Wednesday teamed up with two conservative Republican senators to roll out new legislation aimed at dramatically curbing legal immigration to the United States, a key Trump campaign promise.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) have been working with White House officials to revise and expand a bill released earlier this year that would halve the number of people who receive legal permanent residence over a decade...

They say the legislation would move the United States to a "merit-based" immigration system and away from the current model, which is largely based on family ties...

The legislation would eliminate immigration preferences currently given to extended family members and adult children of U.S. citizens seeking green cards, and it would cap the number of accepted refugees at 50,000 — half of the Obama administration’s target for 2017.

It would also end the State Department's Diversity visa lottery, which the senators say is “plagued with fraud.” The program had been allotted 50,000 visas for the 2018 fiscal year.

About 1 million immigrants receive green cards per year...

“The RAISE Act helps realize President Trump’s vision of making America great again by making immigration great again as well. It provides a pathway for a modern, smarter immigration system while protecting those Americans struggling to make ends meet," said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, added that the Cotton-Perdue bill will "do more than any other action to fulfill" Trump's campaign pledges on immigration...




Immigration battle brewing in the GOP, The Hill, August 3, 2017.

RAISE Act Is First Serious Attempt to Reduce Immigration In Generations, Breitbart, August 3, 2017:

Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, popularly known as the Hart-Cellar act after its co-sponsors Rep. Phillip Hart (D-MI) and Rep. Emanuel Cellar (D-NY), legal immigration to the United States has exploded. Whereas, under the pre-1965 immigration regime, America admitted an average of fewer than 200,000 new immigrants a year, the Hart-Cellar Act rapidly removed barriers to entry and allowed typical yearly numbers to rise to more than quintuple.

Speaking in support of Hart-Cellar’s passage on the Senate floor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) famously told this colleagues that, “[O]ur cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.”

In fact, since the 1965 Act, legal immigration has usually topped one million new arrivals per year. Census estimates from 2015 show that, under the current system, more than one-fifth of those in the United States will be foreign-born by 2060, an all-time high outpacing even the great “Ellis Island” wave of migration at the turn of the last century. Meanwhile, a 2008 study by the immigration restriction group Numbers USA shows that the decedents of post-1970 immigrants, mostly of a decidedly different “ethnic mix” than pre-1965 America, will make up 42 percent of the population by the same year.

In addition to massively expanding the amount and broadening the origins of legal immigrants, the 1965 Act changed the primary focus of the American immigration system to “family reunification,” a principle intended to reserve the lion’s share of the immigration quota for Americans’ relatives from abroad but which has, in practice, allowed “chain migration” by which one immigrant in turn can bring over an ever increasing circle of relatives, to become widespread. The RAISE Act seeks explicitly to end chain migration and return the focus of immigration to what benefits Americans.

Jason Richwine, a National Review contributor and immigration researcher who has worked with the Center for Immigration Studies, spoke with Breitbart News about his thoughts on the RAISE Act and the prospect of reversing the deficiencies of Hart-Cellar. Of the new bill, he said:

It does a lot of things that I think are long overdue. In ’65, the emphasis was on “family reunification,” which, at the time, seemed to make sense because the thought was it would be fairly limited category: people who were already here adding just a few people that were related to them. But it really expanded greatly and turned into a gigantic chain migration issue … It created, I think, an immigration system that  no one really ever intended to have. I don’t think anyone ever sat down and said “you know what, we should have an immigration system where we bring in over a million people a year and something like 80 or 90 percent of them are coming through chain migration.”

In contrast, the RAISE Act’s points system with focus on factors like education and in-demand skills and, unlike previous initiatives with similar language, contains stringent and applicable English language proficiency requirements.

Like Richwine, Dale Wilcox, executive director of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal sister organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, was optimistic about the RAISE Act’s shift away from “family reunification.” “Ending the current nepotistic system that puts family-ties (mostly Mexican and Latin American) ahead what our country actually needs is certainly a good start. It’d clip the disastrous system put in place with the Immigration Act of 1965,” he told Breitbart News.

“But swapping it with a giant amnesty will still kill the rule of law in this country as well as hurt the Mexican/Latin American people who need DACA beneficiaries to return and reform the region,”...


Seven Facts About Donald Trump’s Merit-Based Immigration Reform, Breitbart, August 3, 2017.

Polls Show Huge Public Support for Donald Trump’s Immigration Reforms, Breitbart, August 3, 2017.

An Immigration System That Puts America First - Trump’s common-sense reforms will make U.S. immigration policy sane again, FrontPage Mag, August 3, 2017.


Cutting Immigration in Half Would Make Americans Wealthier, Breitbart, August 5, 2017.

WSJ: Use Immigration To Keep Wages Down, Breitbart, August 4, 2017.


Was Barbara Jordan a ‘White Nationalist’? by Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, August 3, 2017:

Barbara Jordan

The pearl-clutching reaction of much of the chattering class to the Cotton-Perdue RAISE Act on immigration has been a wonder to behold. Charles C.W. Cooke discussed the "agree with me or you're against immigrants" silliness in National Review Online, but I wanted to point out something else.

The inspiration for the RAISE Act is the mid-1990s report of civil rights icon Barbara Jordan's bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Though there are many differences in the details of the two proposals, the basic ideas are the same: Abolish the ridiculous Visa Lottery, focus family immigration on nuclear family, and rationalize and streamline the skilled immigration process.

But don't take my word for it. Here are excerpts from the reports (emphasis in the original; links to the pdfs are here):

Immigration supports the national interest by promoting strong and intact nuclear families—that is, the basic social unit consisting of parents and their dependent children living in one household.

Check. ...

Unlike the Jordan Commission recommendations, the RAISE Act ends the green card category for parents, but permits their uncapped admission on renewable visas, contingent on proof of paid-up health insurance.

The Commission recommends elimination of other family-based admission categories, including:

  • Adult, unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
  • Adult, married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
  • Adult, unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents;
  • and Siblings of U.S. citizens.

Check. ...

... The Jordan Commission decided against recommending a points system, like the RAISE Act does, but the goal was the same: rationalize and streamline the program to enable exceptional skills to come in while protecting less-skilled American workers.

The U.S. should allocate 50,000 admission numbers each year to the entry of refugees from overseas (not including asylum adjustments);


The Commission proposes a core immigration admissions level of 550,000 per year, to be divided as follows:

  • Nuclear family immigration 400,000;
  • Skill-based immigration 100,000;
  • Refugee resettlement 50,000.

About the same as the RAISE Act.

So, was Barbara Jordan a "white nationalist"? Did she make the Statue of Liberty cry?


CAIRCO Research

How many illegal aliens reside in the United States?