President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw his support behind legislation that aims to significantly cut the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. over the next decade.
The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act aims to reduce the number of green cards issued in half from 1 million to 500,000 a year.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who consulted the Trump campaign on immigration policy, said a merit-based system will help lighten the burden on the American taxpayer and the American worker.
He explained that our current system allows a large number of poor, unskilled workers to come into the U.S. and use our welfare system and take lower wage jobs from American citizens.
"President Trump's proposal here is to take the burden off the taxpayer and also take some of that competitive burden off of the American workers who are trying to get these lower-end jobs, these blue collar jobs," Kobach said.
He said that in any given year, hundreds of thousands of people want to come to the U.S. legally, and we should pick those who can do the best for themselves and for the country.
He said that's why the bill would judge applicants for legal residency on the basis of education, language ability, entrepreneurship and job abilities.
"Let's think about the American economy first and not be importing so many people who go straight to welfare," Kobach said. "Let's think of the American people first when we decide who gets to come in."
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