Plan to Cut Legal Immigration Supported by Donald Trump

Donald Trump on the 2nd of June agreed with the proposal of reducing legal immigration into the United States in half within 10 years by strongly reducing the American citizens and legal residents’ ability to bring their family members into the United States.

The strategy would apply the most far-reaching changes of the legal immigration system in the last decades and is the latest effort of Donald Trump to put an end to the flow of newcomers to the country. Since he took the presidential office, he has banned many travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries, put a limit to the refugee influx, increased the arrests of immigrants and made pressures to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

National identity an American values as arguments for the immigration plan

When he asked the Congress to stop legal immigration, the president heated up a debate on national identity, economic growth, worker fairness and American values which were the main points of his election campaign in 2016. According to the critics, the proposal would undercut the United States’ main vision as a heaven for the huddled and poor masses. Meanwhile, the president and his allies claimed that the country has accepted too many low-skilled immigrants for a long period of time in the detriment of the American workers.

Along with two Republican senators who sponsor the bill, Donald Trump declared at an event from the White House: “This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first”.

The US president also added one more long-odds priority to a legislative agenda that is already packed with them after being unable to impose a legislation to repeal and replace the health care programme of the former US president, Barack Obama. Donald Trump has already promised to reexamine the US tax code and rebuild the roads, airports and other parts of the country’s infrastructure.

Immigration, a key point of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

By approving cuts on legal immigration, an action which he supported for a long time, the president returned to a theme defining his short career in politics and encourages his conservative base amid the continuous sinking of his poll numbers. In the latest Quinnipiac University survey, only 33 per cent of the American citizens approved Trump’s performance, which is his presidency’s lowest rating, and reduced from 40 per cent in July.

The move was quickly criticized by the Democrats and some of the Republicans. The chairman of the Democrat National Committee said: “Instead of catching criminals, Trump wants to tear apart communities and punish immigrant families that are making valuable contributions to our economy. That’s not what America stands for”.

Sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, the bill would establish a system based on merits in order to determine who can enter the United States and receive green cards for legal residency. It would favor candidates based on their skills, education and language ability instead of their relations with people who are already in the country. The proposal restores an idea that was included in larger legislation on immigration which was support by George W. Bush. The idea died in 2007.

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