Donald Trump spoke before the public earlier today to introduce the RAISE Act alongside Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), which was a revised version of a bill that both senators first introduced in April to cut immigration by half from the current level of more than 1 million green cards per year granting foreigners permanent legal residence in the United States. In particular, Trump spoke about the explosion of low-skilled legal immigration, which has put downward pressure on the wages of low-skilled Americans.
As Trump said of our current immigration system, it “has placed substantial pressure on American workers, taxpayers and community resources, and among those hit the hardest … are minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals. It has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers … [this RAISE act] will give Americans a pay raise by reducing immigration… [and] it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.
Listen to his remarks below:
According to Breitbart, many polls show strong public support for cutting the annual inflow of immigrants and temporary blue-collar and white-collar foreign workers. That foreign inflow now adds up to almost 4 million people per year. The inflow has a huge economic impact on the 150 million Americans in the workforce, but especially on the 4 million young Americans who join the workforce each year.
The new RAISE act “would raise economic growth and help America get more competitive,” said Cotton. “Our current system simply doesn’t do that … it puts great downward pressure on people who work with their hands and on their feet … it is a symbol that we are not committed to working-class Americans.”
Each year, only one-in-15 of the 1 million green card immigrants is accepted because of their ability to grow the economy, said Cotton.
“It is imperative that our immigration system focuses on high skilled workers who can add value to our economy and ultimately achieve their own version of the American dream,” said Perdue.
According to a landmark 2007 study by the Heritage Foundation, low skilled immigrants also consume a disproportionate amount of welfare benefits. Examining fiscal year 2004 there were around 4.5 million low-skill immigrant households in the U.S. containing 15.9 million persons. About 60 percent of these low-skill immigrant households were headed by legal immigrants and 40 percent by illegal immigrants. In FY 2004, the average low skill immigrant household received $30,160 in direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services from all levels of government. By contrast, low-skill immigrant households paid only $10,573 in taxes in FY 2004. That’s nearly a $20,000 deficit per household, or $318 billion a year.
Keep in mind those were the figures since 2004, and the number of low-skilled immigrants has increased greatly since then, as has the generosity of our welfare system.
No low-skilled immigrants who currently reside in the U.S. will be penalized from this law, but it does stop the growth of that demographic.
Whether it’s politically correct to admit or not, there’s a limited number of immigrants any country can take in at any given time, and it makes no sense not to prioritize those who won’t place a burden on the government’s budget over those who will.