Feb 7, 2017

This is the moment for immigration restrictionists

Evan Vucci / AP

It would be impossible to overstate the resolve of the team of immigration hardliners surrounding Trump. Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon are determined to radically change America's approach to immigration. A collection of immigration control groups has supported them and built sections of the intellectual architecture framing their policies.

Pay attention to these groups: Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies. They're in a state of ecstasy.

These groups are scrappy and poorly funded compared to the business interests that support immigration reform. They've long lived on the fringes of American politics and now their policies are about to be center stage. This is the moment for immigration restrictionists, and their agenda goes beyond stopping illegal immigration. They now have a President, a chief strategist, a senior policy adviser (Stephen Miller), and Attorney General, and a star Senator (Tom Cotton).

That brings us to an important, under-the-radar story in Politico today. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is proposing legislation today with fellow Trump ally, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), to crack down on America's legal immigration system.

What their legislation proposes, per Politico:

  • Swings an axe at the nation's green-card system by eliminating several avenues for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members for green cards.
  • Right now, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor a variety of family members, including spouses, parents, siblings and married adult children. Cotton and Perdue's plan would allow only spouses and unmarried minor children to get green cards, although they would permit a modest number of visas for aging adult parents whose American children are their caretakers.
  • The bill also dumps the diversity visa lottery, which allots about 50,000 visas per year for citizens of countries that traditionally have low rates of immigration to the United States. And it would limit refugees to 50,000 annually — in line with levels outlined in Trump's controversial executive order.

The money stat:

All told, the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States under the bill — named the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act — would plummet by 40 percent in the first year and by 50 percent over a decade, according to analysis by Cotton's aides.

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,744,258 — Total deaths: 102,709 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.