- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2019

President Trump is raising eyebrows with his comment that he wants to boost legal immigration to the U.S.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Mr. Trump declared, “I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

The president ad-libbed the phrase “in the largest numbers ever,” which was not in the prepared text of his speech. While Mr. Trump has made similar comments supporting legal immigration, some analysts pointed out that the sentiment runs counter to the administration’s proposals to significantly curb legal immigration programs such as so-called “chain migration” for family members of immigrants and the visa lottery program.

Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, the nation’s largest grassroots immigration-reduction group, noted that unlike last year, Mr. Trump “did not call for ending unnecessary generalized immigration like the visa lottery and chain migration that slows down the economic momentum that is pulling so many Americans back into the workforce.”

“And while focusing on stopping and catching illegal migrants, he failed to call for mandatory E-Verify, which is necessary to cut off the jobs that are the main magnet drawing them here,” Mr. Beck said.

Former State Department official David Tafuri said Mr. Trump’s plug for more legal immigration “really surprised me.”

“It’s not totally consistent with what he’s done, in terms of trying to eliminate chain migration, in terms of cutting down on refugees,” he said on Fox News.

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