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    A demonstrator holds a sign to protest against U.S President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries from entering the United States during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. February 4, 2017

    Trump Backs Concept of Bill Aimed at Slashing Legal Immigration to US by Half

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    US President Donald Trump strongly supports the concept of moving US legal immigration system towards a merit-based system, according to US Senator Tom Cotton.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump backs the concept behind the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which would reduce legal immigration to the United States by half, US Senator Tom Cotton told reporters on Tuesday.

    "I have discussed the legislation with President Trump as a concept in the fall and as early as this morning," Cotton stated. "He strongly supports the concept of moving our legal immigration system towards a merit-based system as opposed to system that we have right now that has unlimited chained migration, needless diversity lottery and uncapped refugee program."

    Earlier on Tuesday, Cotton and Senator David Perdue introduced the RAISE Act, arguing the implementing the measure would promote higher wages for working Americans.

    The RAISE Act comprises of three parts: prioritizing immediate family members such as spouses and unmarried minors; eliminating 50,000 visas in the existing US diversity lottery; limiting the number of permanent residency or "green" cards offered to refugees to 50,000 per year.

    Cotton noted that he and Perdue have been in close contact with various members of Trump's staff as they worked on the details of the RAISE Act.

    Moreover, Cotton expressed hope Democrats in the US Senate, who say they are concerned about workers’ wages, would back the RAISE Act in order to move forward with it later in the year.


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