GOP Senators Try to Undermine Kushner’s Immigration Plan

Senate Republicans will introduce a bill to slash legal immigration in a challenge to the White House adviser’s proposal.

A group of Senate Republicans is moving to slash legal immigration, a plan designed to undercut a proposal by White House adviser Jared Kushner to boost the number of migrant workers admitted into the country.

Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia and Josh Hawley of Missouri, key allies of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, will introduce a bill Wednesday that would favor admitting skilled workers and their immediate family members but cut by half the number of legal immigrants, according to officials close to the process.

The bill will serve to both challenge Kushner’s unexpected effort to increase the number of low- and high-skilled workers, and to remind Trump to make good on his promise to cut both legal and illegal immigration.

“As some White House staff debate immigration policy, we want the president to know that he has support on Capitol Hill for his original plan to limit low-skilled immigration and put American workers first,” said a congressional aide with knowledge of the plan but who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the legislation.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has been working on a plan for months, presented his proposal to the president last week, according to one person familiar with the situation. The president told him he should expand the proposal to include both changes to legal and illegal immigration so as to address what he calls a crisis on the southern border, the person said.

The legislation comes as Trump and Stephen Miller, a White House senior adviser,purge top staff at the Department of Homeland Security as they look to enact tougher policies on illegal immigration.

Trump made cracking down on immigration the centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, calling for a border wall and ending an Obama-era program that allows temporary, renewable work permits for so-called Dreamers who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children.

But in recent months Trump has said he supports higher levels of legal immigration, a priority generally backed by a business community short on skilled workers.

By Anita Kumar for POLITICO

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