The Cotton-Perdue legislation, also known as the RAISE Act (for Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy), would cut by half the number of legal immigrants accepted into the US each year. It would alter the immigration screening process to favor English speakers with the purported ability to support themselves financially and demonstrate skills that will benefit the economy, and would also, according to the president, prohibit recently arrived green-card holders from receiving welfare. "That's not just true at the high-skilled, but low-skilled level", said Jeremy Robbins, the executive director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, the pro-reform group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The bill would limit the types of family members of immigrants that can also be brought to the United States to primarily spouses and minor children, would eliminate the global diversity visa lottery and limit the number of annual refugee admissions.
"We're not trying to boil the ocean here and change everything about our immigration law", Cotton said.
Our immigration system should continue to value families. It has the potential to seriously restrict the flow of legal immigrants into the country, all - ostensibly - in the name of protecting unskilled American workers.
That's what the RAISE Act is all about - while it is about immigration and will run into several thousand pages of background material but at its core, it tugs at how Trump's voters "feel" and not about what Trump is able to achieve, not how senators haggle in US Congress and certainly not about bills that don't pass.
The legislation has already received significant support from White House officials such as senior adviser Stephen Miller, who helped Cotton and Perdue craft the bill, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has long decried legal immigration levels and argued that an influx of Asian immigrants has overwhelmed America's schools and technology sector. And the bill caps refugee levels at 50,000 per year.
Germany: 'Desirable' for USA to talk to Europeans about Russian Federation sanctions
But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures. "Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing. As of Monday, Brussels had not commented the US' sanctions bill and its bearing on European energy firms.
"The new Cotton-Perdue bill would do nothing to boost skilled immigration and it will only increase the proportion of employment-based green cards by cutting other green cards".
That's because the bill would require 60 votes in the Senate to proceed.
The original version of the bill cut back on what's referred to as "chain migration", ways of immigrating to the United States that are based on family or not based on skills. They say the legislation would disproportionately affect immigrants from Asia, the Middle East, and African and Caribbean countries.
The president has made cracking down on illegal immigration a hallmark of his administration and has tried to slash federal grants for cities that refuse to comply with federal efforts to detain and deport those living in the country illegally.
The president of Numbers USA, a group seeking tighter immigration limits, said the legislation "will do more than any other action to fulfill President Trump's promises as a candidate to create an immigration system that puts the interests of American workers first".