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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 MulvaneyGaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump Trump says he may lower corporate tax rate to 20 percent if reelected Is Social Security safe from the courts? 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 TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven 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 ObamaOvernight Health Care: Trump testing czar says rise in cases is real | Obama rips Trump's pandemic response | CDC: Increasing numbers of adults say they wear masks Trump calls Fox 'disappointing' for airing Obama speech Trump blasts Obama speech for Biden as 'fake' after Obama hits Trump's tax payments 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 MillerMcEnany appears on Fox in 'personal capacity' as Trump campaign adviser Documents show Trump campaign ignored coronavirus guidelines at Duluth rally: report House Democrats ask DHS to consider flu vaccinations for immigration detainees 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."