Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.

Immigration Law

Expert: GOP Immigration Bill Will 'Be Very Hard to Get Through Congress'

David J. Lynch, Financial Times, Aug. 2, 2017 - "Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed legislation that would dramatically reshape legal immigration to the US, slashing annual admissions in half and prioritising education and skills rather than family ties in deciding who can enter the country.

The proposal “will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars,” said Mr Trump, speaking in the White House Roosevelt Room, named for former president Theodore Roosevelt, a descendant of 17th century Dutch immigrants.

Mr Trump was joined by Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, authors of the bill, in calling for a new points system that would favour migrants with greater schooling, English fluency and work skills.

Modelled on the Canadian and Australian immigration systems, the initiative comes as the Senate tries to rebound from its failure to pass a healthcare bill and still must approve legislation to raise the debt ceiling before the end of next month. Republicans also must agree on a budget and hope to overhaul the US tax code, goals that leave little time for immigration before the 2018 campaign season.

“It’s going to be very hard to get through Congress,” says Stephen Yale-Loehr, an expert at Cornell Law School. “Immigration is just as complicated as healthcare and tax reform.”

Democrats quickly signalled they were cool to the idea of halving the roughly 1m annual arrivals.

"The bottom line is to cut immigration by half a million people — legal immigration — doesn’t make much sense,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. “This is different than illegal immigration. It creates jobs in America. It helps America. And we think it’s a non-starter."

The last significant bid to fix the troubled US immigration system took several months to clear the Senate in 2013 before collapsing in the House."