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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

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to an official report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.