Two GOP senators plan to propose skills-based immigration bill: report

Two GOP senators plan to propose skills-based immigration bill: report
© Greg Nash

Republican Sens. David Perdue (Ga.) and Tom CottonTom CottonGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Grassley offers DACA fix tied to tough enforcement measures Five things senators should ask Tom Cotton if he’s nominated to lead the CIA MORE (Ark.) plan to introduce legislation at the White House Wednesday calling for a new skills-based immigration system, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday. 

According to the report, the plan would reduce the overall level of legal immigration into the country.

“Our current immigration system is outdated and doesn’t meet the diverse needs of our economy,” Cotton aide Caroline Rabbitt told The Weekly Standard. “Senator Cotton and Senator Perdue will join President Trump to unveil legislation aimed at creating a skills-based immigration system that will make America more competitive, raise wages for American workers, and create jobs.”

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The White House late Tuesday released President Trump's Wednesday schedule, which included an 11:30 a.m. announcement alongside Cotton and Purdue in the Roosevelt Room. The schedule did not say the topic of the announcement.

Both senators have called for immigration reform, often criticizing the current system.

Earlier this year Cotton and Perdue introduced legislation that they said would effectively halve the number of green cards issued each year from 1 million to roughly 500,000. 

“Over the last 40 years we’ve seen a huge increase in immigration,” Cotton said at the time, arguing that the current amount is out of line with “historical” levels. 

The legislation would have nixed immigration preferences for non-immediate family members, adult children or adult parents of current legal permanent U.S. residents. It ultimately stalled in the Senate.

White House policy director Stephen Miller and Senate Republicans have reportedly been meeting to discuss immigration reform that would ultimately lower the amount of legal immigration.

The proposal comes as the Trump administration continues to look for solutions and reform on immigration, an issue Trump took a hard-line stance on during his campaign. During that time he pledged to deport more than 10 million undocumented immigrants. 

During the first six months of his administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security have cracked down on undocumented immigrants. Trump has also doubled down that he intends to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Cotton and Perdue did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.