Speaking from the Roosevelt Room at the White House Wednesday morning, President Trump expressed support for the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, RAISE, in an effort to shift America's immigration system away from low-skilled labor to one based on merit and skills. If passed, the legislation would represent the largest overhaul of the U.S. immigration system since the 1960s.
"Struggling American families deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first," the President said. "The RAISE Act ends chain migration and replaces our low-skilled system with a new points-based system."
"The green card reforms in the RAISE Act will give American workers a pay raise by reducing unskilled immigration," he continued.
The President, standing with Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, argued the influx of low-skilled immigrants has greatly disadvantaged working class Americans by depressing wages and eliminating jobs.
"We're not committed to working class Americans and we need to change that," Senator Tom Cotton, a co-author of the legislation, said. "We bring over a million immigrants into this country a year. That's like adding the population of Montana."
"Our current system is over a half-century old. It is an obsolete disaster," he continued.
The legislation significantly limits legal immigration, by 15 percent, and favors immigrants who have strong English language abilities. It prioritizes immigrants who have high skills to benefit the American economy and reduces eligibility for immigrants to receive welfare.
"The RAISE Act prevents new migrants and new immigrants from collecting welfare," the President said.
Debate on the bill is expected after the August recess.