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 MulvaneyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says  Mulvaney: Trump faces difficulty if 2020 election becomes 'referendum' on him 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 John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' 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 ObamaHow Trump can get his mojo back Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Democrats see convention as chance to underscore COVID-19 message 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 MillerIn DACA ruling, Supreme Court ignores Trump's racial bias The Memo: Trump's Tulsa decision sparks new race controversy George Conway group targets Trump over 'blatant racism' in new ad 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."