Trump Pushing to Cut Annual Immigration by Half

Trump is reportedly in discussions with GOP lawmakers about an immigration reduction bill.

Reports surfaced late Wednesday night that President Donald Trump and members of his administration are working to eventually halve the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter the U.S. each year.

Politico cited four “people familiar with the conversations” underway in the White House saying Trump plans to throw his weight behind an immigration reform bill due to be released later this summer by GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia.

That piece of legislation would effectively slash the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country each year from about 1 million to 500,000 by 2027.

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump has lashed out at both legal and illegal immigration, taking aim at border enforcement, immigration vetting procedures and the availability of H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers. H-1B visas are currently capped at about 80,000 per year, but it’s unclear whether the Trump administration will eventually aim to reduce that benchmark.

It’s also unclear exactly how the immigration roll-back would work, though a senior administration official told Politico that “you’ll have to demonstrate you are self-sufficient and you don’t receive welfare” to be eligible and that the changes would “reduce low-skilled immigration substantially, which will protect American workers and recent immigrants themselves.”

The expected push for reform, however, is likely to face steep opposition from Democrats and pro-immigration Republicans who argue immigrants add economic value.

Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is reportedly involved in discussions with lawmakers over the immigration plan. Miller has historically taken a hard-line stance on immigration and helped create the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban, which has been allowed by the Supreme Court to go into partial effect before the high court hears arguments related to the ban’s constitutionality.

By Andrew Soergel for US News
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