Aug 2, 2017

Behind the White House immigration plan

White House / YouTube

President Trump, along with Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Georgia Sen. David Perdue, introduced new legislation at the White House this morning designed to significantly reduce the level of legal immigration into the United States, bringing it in line with what they call the "historic" average.

The plan: The proposed legislation aims to reduce legal immigration by 50% over the next decade by prioritizing skilled workers and cutting back on certain lottery visas and permanent residency for refugees. Perdue and Cotton argue that this approach would help lower-wage American workers find jobs without competition from immigrants.

Cotton: "For some people, they may think that [America's traditional immigration system] is a symbol of America's virtue and generosity. I think it's a symbol that we're not committed to working-class Americans. And we need to change that."

Trump: "This competitive application process will favor applicants who speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that contribute to our economy."

The problem: The plan is a clear break from the United States' immigration priorities in the modern era and is likely to be highly divisive, even among fellow Republicans. The Senate's 2013 Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill that ultimately failed in the House was the brainchild of GOP senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Jeff Flake — and is in many ways the antithesis of the Cotton-Perdue approach.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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