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Mulvaney says US 'desperate' for legal immigrants to boost economy: report

Mulvaney says US 'desperate' for legal immigrants to boost economy: report
© Greg Nash

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE told a private audience Wednesday that the U.S. needs more immigrants to keep the economy growing, according to an audio recording of his remarks obtained by The Washington Post.

“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mulvaney said at the gathering in England. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants."

Mulvaney's comments on immigration were revealed after a separate speech in England, also first reported by the Post, where he called out Republicans for ignoring budget deficits under President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE.

"My party is very interested in deficits when there is a Democrat in the White House. The worst thing in the whole world is deficits when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Polls suggest House Democrats will buck midterm curse and add to their ranks Boehner: Mass shootings 'embarrassing our country' MORE was the president. Then Donald Trump became president, and we’re a lot less interested as a party," Mulvaney said at the Oxford Union.

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Mulvaney's comments on immigration appear to put him at odds with other administration officials, such as White House adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerGOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Sunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues Democrat: Ex-Trump aide Miller should be jailed for human rights violations MORE, who have taken steps to cut both legal and illegal immigration.

But according to the Post's review of the recording, which was not made publicly available, Mulvaney highlighted the points-based immigration systems of countries like Canada and Australia, which Trump has praised in the past.

Several studies have warned that the U.S. economy will require more immigrant labor to keep expanding, as many American workers drop out of the labor market due to age, automation and other factors.

A paper released in August by the Migration Policy Institute said that increased immigration would likely be an overall benefit to the economy in a changing labor market, but "it can negatively affect some low-skilled workers, who have already been hard hit by technological change, globalization, and weakening labor unions."