- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

President Trump is expected to join two Republican senators at the White House on Wednesday to highlight a bill that would cut legal immigration levels in half and install a merit-based system for those seeking to come to the U.S.

Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas will reintroduce an updated version of the legislation, called the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. It was originally introduced in February.

The measure would focus on reducing the number of people allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and limit the current practice of family-related immigration.

“Our current immigration system is outdated and doesn’t meet the diverse needs of our economy,” Cotton aide Caroline Rabbitt told The Weekly Standard. “Senator Cotton and Senator Perdue will join President Trump to unveil legislation aimed at creating a skills-based immigration system that will make America more competitive, raise wages for American workers, and create jobs.”

Mr. Trump, whose early efforts have focused on a crackdown on illegal immigration at the Mexican border, said last week that immigration reforms must protect American workers.

“Instead of today’s low-skilled system — which is a terrible system where anyone comes in, people who have never worked, people that are criminals, anyone comes in — we want a merit-based system,” he said. “One that protects our workers, protects our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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