President Donald J. Trump, Senator Tom Cotton and Senator David Perdue at the White House Aug. 2. White House Photo by Andrea Hanks
Trump unveils legislation limiting legal immigration
WASHINGTON – With Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia by his side, President Trump announced the introduction of the Reforming
American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act at the White House Aug. 2.
The legislation would sharply curtail legal immigration to the United States, fulfilling one of Trump's campaign promises was to reduce immigration, illegal and legal.
The Cotton-Perdue legislation would cut by half the number of legal immigrants accepted into the U.S. each year by favoring applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy, President Trump said in making the announcement. The measure also prevents new arrivals from collecting welfare, according to media reports.
Cotton said the one million green cards awarded each year is excessive and that the legislation could help reduce it in one year to 600,000.
Larry Page, executive director of the Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council, applauded the proposed legislation in a statement to the Arkansas Baptist News.
“It appears that some sanity might be returning turn nation's Capital. Arkansas Senator Tom cotton is a cosponsor of a bill to reform our immigration laws. If the act become law, foreigners seeking green cards to enter our country for work will need to be proficient in English, have the ability to support themselves and their nuclear family, and possess marketable employment skills or professions,” said Page.
“This change would reflect what our immigration policies had
been for many years before a set of misplaced priorities disrupted it – mutually beneficial arrangements – for those entering our country and for our country and its economic well-being.”
NPR reported that Trump said the measure “will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.” The President added that the current system, “has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement the proposal would “help the Department of Justice perform its duties to uphold our nation's immigration law and end the unlawful abuse of our public benefits program that undermine U.S. taxpayers,” NPR reported.