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1. Patricia Pomerleau CEOExpressSelect Member
     Forum Moderator
     (8/3/2017 8:58:14 AM)
     Message ID #288246

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President Trump on Wednesday endorsed a new bill in the Senate aimed at slashing legal immigration levels in half over a decade, a potentially profound change to policies that have been in place for more than half a century.

Trump appeared with Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.) at the White House to unveil a modified version of a bill the senators first introduced in February to create a “merit-based” immigration system that would put a greater emphasis on the job skills of foreigners over their ties to family in the United States.

The legislation seeks to reduce the annual distribution of green cards awarding permanent legal residence to just over 500,000 from more than 1 million. Trump promised on the campaign trail to take a harder line on immigration, arguing that the growth in new arrivals had harmed job opportunities for American workers.

The bill would create a point system based on factors such as English ability, education levels and job skills to rank applicants for the 140,000 employment-based green cards distributed annually.

In addition, the senators propose to cap annual refugee admissions at 50,000 and to end a visa diversity lottery that has awarded 50,000 green cards a year, mostly to applicants from African nations.

Supporters say that while some might view the current immigration system as a “symbol of America’s virtue and generosity,” he sees it “as a symbol we’re not committed to working-class Americans and we need to change that.”

However, those who find the legislation an affront to American values say that immigrants are needed to fill jobs Americans won't touch and, as importantly, to bring new generations into to a country that is aging at the rate that is unsustainable. Social security s becoming an inverse funnel. Critics also believe that a merit-based system that prioritizes high-skilled workers would hurt the economy by harming industries that rely on low-skill immigrant labor.

Trump had campaigned on getting rid of illegal immigrants, but said he supported legal immigration. Seemingly, he has now changed his mind. The bill faces dim prospects in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and would have difficulty reaching 60 votes to fend off a filibuster. Most republicans in the house and senate do not believe in constraining legal immigration. However, the president’s press event came as the White House sought to move past a major political defeat on repealing the Affordable Care Act by pivoting to issues that resonate with Trump’s core supporters.

From everything coming from Republicans in congress, this bill doesn't have a chance of passing. However, it raises an important issue and discussion.

  • What do you think of immigrants entering the US?
  • What is your family immigration history?
  • How will the US stop the aging problem of the country without immigrants?
  • Will a plan that encourages higher skilled immigrant workers who then take the higher skilled jobs in the US help Middle America?
  • Does a requirement of speaking English BEFORE one enters the country make sense?.
  • Has immigration be a run-away program that has had a net-negative affect on the US?
  • Do legal immigrant increase the crime rate?

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