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 billthe 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.
“Among those who have been hit hardest in recent years are immigrants and minority workers competing for jobs against brand-new arrivals,” said Trump, flanked by the senators in the Roosevelt Room. “It has not been fair to our people, our citizens and our workers.”
I wish I had a nickel for every time I head people say they weren’t against immigration, just illegal immigration. The recently proposed bill regarding immigration shows that simply is not true.
One of the most draconian aspects of the bill is that it limits the number of legal immigrants. If people cannot immigrate legally they will do so illegally.
Furthermore, the bill is a lie. Hordes of Americans aren’t lined up to do agricultural work, hotel work, lawn care work, restaurant work in the back of the house, or many of the jobs we rely on immigrants to do. We aren’t spending tens of thousands of dollars each year on students’ education so they will be fit to do those kinds of unskilled and semi skilled jobs. Let’s not kid ourselves. Americans don’t want those jobs.
The requirement for immigrants to know English is absurd. Why? Do we need more skilled workers coming here and taking American jobs? Millions of Chinese and Russian students know how to speak English. They also would want white-collar and skilled jobs if they immigrated. They aren’t going to line up to pick tomatoes or grapes.
I am beginning to think that really people just don’t want foreigners here. That kind of nativist thinking is truly the bottom line and one of the main reasons for Trump supporters.
I also don’t believe the bill will pass. Shame on us if it does.