Cotton/Perdue Bill Begs These Questions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill being announced today aims to severely limit legal immigration, which would have unintended consequences that likely would hurt American workers.

Sponsored by Sens. David Perdue (R-Georgia) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), with the support of President Trump, the legislation would seek to decrease legal immigration by proposing a skills-based approach.

The following are questions members of Congress should bear in mind when considering this bill:

  • How would this immigration bill impact American workers and their families? By 2020, our workforce gap could grow to 7.5 million jobs. How does this bill address our need to significantly increase our legal immigration in order to address this gap? How does this bill help increase our economic growth?
  • Where are the numbers coming from? Show us the math. Who did they consult to arrive at the numbers of legal immigrants and refugees to let into the country? Does this take into account the needs of businesses and workers?
  • Does this bill align with our values as a country? Family reunification has proven to be one of the most cost-effective safety nets for immigrants. Not allowing immigrants to petition for family members would limit the number of people who would want to come to the U.S. to fill our skills gap. How is limiting the number of refugee admissions beneficial, when refugees have become important contributors to our economy, tax base and our communities?

“If this is an acknowledgement that our immigration system is broken, the Trump administration and these senators are right. But this is the wrong way to fix it,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Immigrants are jobs multipliers. Research has shown that each new immigrant produced about 1.2 new jobs, most of which went to native-born employees. And restricting family members from joining their families in the U.S. will make it harder for them to become fully American. Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family.”

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