President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to minimize illegal immigration into the U.S. Implicit in that was the presumption that adjustments to the system of legal immigration might also be necessary.
Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton weighed in with an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times in December 2016, in which he revealed some drastic actions he had in mind for making major reforms to legal immigration.
Chief among those reforms would be a major reduction in the number of visas granted to foreign nationals, and a shift from family-based immigration to a more skills-and-employment-based standard.
According to Politico, which received a sneak peek at the op-ed before its publication, Cotton has teamed up with Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue to introduce an immigration bill called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act.
The bill would immediately reduce the number of legal immigrants admitted into the country per year by roughly 40 percent, progressing to 50 percent over the next 10 years.
The bill would also limit U.S. citizens and legal residents to sponsoring legal entry only by spouses and unmarried minor children, with a provision for elderly individuals in need of care from their U.S.-citizen adult children. This would end the “chain migration” policy that allowed for the sponsoring of extended family like parents, adult siblings, adult children, aunts, uncles, grandparents and more.
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