David Perdue’s immigration push picks up key endorsement

U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill earlier this month. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s quest to overhaul the country’s legal immigration system got a major boost this week after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he was supportive of key aspects of the Georgia senator’s plan.

The Kentucky Republican told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Wednesday that he agreed with the gambit Perdue and Republican colleague Tom Cotton have been pushing for months: that any congressional agreement giving legal status to so-called Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children should be coupled with changes to the legal immigration system.

“I’m in favor of doing something on the DACA front,” said McConnell, using the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program President Donald Trump said he’ll end in March. “But I don’t think we ought to just do that.”

McConnell said he would be interested in addressing two issues at the heart of Perdue and Cotton’s bill: the federal diversity lottery and so-called chain migration.

“There are plenty of changes to the legal immigration system that should be added to any kind of DACA fix that we do,” he said.

Perdue’s bill, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Economy Act, or RAISE Act, would eliminate the diversity lottery, a wildly popular visa program that has been in the spotlight due to its role in the recent New York City terror attack. The legislation also seeks to transition the legal immigration system to a merit-focused one, away from the current family-focused system that allows residents to bring members of their extended family to the U.S. Critics call that “chain migration.”

McConnell is now the senior-most Republican on Capitol Hill to back key aspects of the legislation. That support could start paying dividends as soon as next week, when Congress must address government funding.

Democrats are insisting that a “clean” DACA fix — without any other changes to immigration policy — be included in a must-pass year-end spending deal. Republicans say changes to border security, immigration enforcement and potentially some components of the Perdue-Cotton bill should also be in the mix. But there is some division within the GOP about exactly how far it should go in overhauling the legal immigration system.

Bipartisan talks have so far stalled.

For his part, Perdue on Thursday called McConnell’s backing a “milestone.”

President Donald Trump endorsed the plan this summer, while Perdue’s Georgia colleague Johnny Isakson has hedged.

Read more:  What’s in Perdue’s legal immigration overhaul?

Reader Comments 0

9 comments
ShanaCattles
ShanaCattles

Congress sits on their sex starved backside and refuses to pass Kate's law....

Read the story on the 14 year old returning from dinner with grandparents in Texas who was killed by an illegal who had been deported and then returned....

Only way they will fix illegal immigration is when one of their own is killed by an illegal.

Molly---
Molly---

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Retired/Soldier
Retired/Soldier

@feedback1 We have to stop the chain migration, it makes no sense. We all believe in migration, how about giving priority to the best and brightest of the world that wants to come to America.

feedback1
feedback1

@Retired/Soldier @feedback1 

Migration made sense in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now we need to take care of our 330 million Americans already here.

And we certainly shouldn't be importing low-skill immigrants who add little or nothing to the economy—and will be the first to be replaced by robots in the workplace.

EastSiderATL
EastSiderATL

@Retired/Soldier @feedback1 We don't all believe in "migration."  What are the inherent advantages to increasing the population we currently have?  Less everything for everyone??  We should be looking for ways to decrease our population and make it stronger...not the opposite.

Cats_Resist
Cats_Resist

Is it possible to recall this carpetbagger?

Melanie....
Melanie....

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