US President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers join hands to cut legal immigration into the United States.
Arkansas and Georgia senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue attended a White House ceremony on Wednesday to announce the measure alongside the president on Wednesday, The Hill reported.
The two lawmakers have been tasked with the revision and expansion of the bill released earlier this year based on Trump’s campaign pledge to crack down on immigration.
Speaking in the Roosevelt Room, Trump branded the measure as “the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century."
The measure is said to seek a “merit-based" immigration model rather than the current one based on family ties.
According to Roy Beck, the president of NumbersUSA, the move would "do more than any other action to fulfill" Trump's 2016 promise to fight immigration.
The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act was also discussed at a meeting of Trump and the two senators back in March.
“The RAISE Act helps realize President Trump’s vision of making America great again by making immigration great again as well. It provides a pathway for a modern, smarter immigration system while protecting those Americans struggling to make ends meet," said Dan Stein, the president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.
The measure would cap the number of accepted refugees at 50,000, half of the target assigned by the administration of former President Barack Obama for 2017.
“If this is an acknowledgement that our immigration system is broken, the Trump administration and these senators are right, but this is the wrong way to fix it,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family.”
The measure will also deprive US citizens’ family members and adult children from seeking a green card.
"Congress should focus on stopping illegal immigration – not on restricting the legal immigration that grows our economy," said John Feinblatt, the president of the New American Economy.
Trump vowed to crack down on immigration while campaigning for the 2016 presidential election but has failed to get his complete agenda through so far.