White House officials are building on Pres. Trump’s call to increase legal immigration, according to a new report from McClatchy. According to the report, Pres. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been meeting with a number of business groups and other government officials to devise an immigration plan that would increase the number of employment based visas for foreign workers.
The McClatchy report describes what is a three-part process, and White House officials are moving into the second process, which includes gauging support. In addition to Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and Senior White House Policy Advisor Stephen Miller are both working with Kushner on the effort.
One thing is clear, the approach that White House officials are now taking is a change in direction on immigration policy from what Pres. Trump ran on as a candidate and expressed during his first 18 months in office. In the spring of 2017, Pres. Trump endorsed legislation offered by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), the RAISE Act, which would reduce legal immigration by about 40% and transform the existing system into a merit-based system. According to McClatchey, the White House is reconsidering its support for the RAISE Act, instead seeking to increase overall immigration levels.
A senior White House official was quoted as saying, “The president said many times he wants to raise immigration.”
The McClatchy report emphasizes Kushner's role in pushing the course reversal, but also paints him as little interested in actual policy and more in brokering a political deal among Washington's power players.
One participant described Kushner as listening a lot and encouraging others to speak. He is less interested in the finer details of immigration policy and focused on reaching a consensus, that participant said....'He’s a smart guy,' one of the participants said. 'But he doesn’t care about the issues. He’s there to find out where the deal is. Where is the sweet spot?'
For more, see McClatchy.
Updated: Thu, Mar 7th 2019 @ 8:55am EST