Two Republican Senators have proposed a radical reduction in the amount of legal immigration allowed to the US. This idea has already received the backing of President Donald Trump, during his Presidential election campaign. On Tuesday, Republican Senators, David Perdue, and Tom Cotton introduced legislation that would halve the number of green cards issued per annum, from a million to around 500,000.
Cotton argues that the US has seen an enormous increase in immigration over the last forty years, a rise that is out of sync with historical levels. The new legislation would end the practice of giving preferential immigration treatment to adult children, adult parents of those who are currently legal residents of the US, and non-immediate family members.
The Senators claim that these restrictions would help to reshape immigration to the US, basing it around employment requirements. They add that it would have no impact on current employment-centric immigration. Cotton says that unless current trends are reversed, the end result will be the creation of an almost permanent underclass in the US.
The Republican proposal would put an end to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program run by the State Department. This lottery system has been in use for several decades and selects people from countries with a low immigration rate to the US. The bill would also place an annual limit of 50,000 on the number of refugees allowed to enter the US.