ICYMI – Cuts to legal immigration unpopular among Republican senators

Cuts to legal immigration levels are unpopular with Republican senators, including among several who are sponsoring the Secure and Succeed Act, a proposal that would make drastic cuts to family-based immigration.

The bill makes substantial cuts to legal immigration levels, eliminating several family sponsorship categories for U.S. citizens and denying American families the opportunity to reunite with their loving parents and children. It is sponsored by Republican Sens. James Lankford (OK), Chuck Grassley (IA), Thom Tillis (NC), David Perdue (GA), Tom Cotton (AR), Joni Ernst (IA), and Majority Whip John Cornyn (TX).

In an interview with Vox, several Republican senators raised concerns that reducing immigration levels will hurt economic growth, hinder job creation and keep families separated.

Below is a sampling of quotes from Republican senators who interviewed with Vox, including several who have lined up behind the Secure and Succeed Act:

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): “I don’t like cuts to legal immigration. I have been the speaker at naturalization ceremonies, and there is nothing more heartwarming than to see people who are learning the language, learning the history, and doing all that, and I have always been a real supporter of encouraging that.”

Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD): “I am one of them who believes that legal immigration is important. Even if we want to maintain our current population, we have to have legal immigration. I really am more interested in finding a way to shorten the lines and to find a way to give the people who are legally in line the opportunity to migrate.”

Senator James Lankford (R-OK): “I’m open to keeping the [legal immigration] numbers as it is. … Let me put it this way: I am fine leaving the numbers where they are, for me personally.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “I don’t know what the appropriate level is of legal immigration. I think there’s two parts of that; we ought to look at more merit-based immigration. We will always have family-based immigration policy, and indeed, we provide for the nuclear family, but we ought to also look at people with skills and education and talents that we need in our country, and so this is the beginning of that conversation.”

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