Legal immigration would see the biggest immediate impact under the bill currently under consideration in the Senate, the Los Angeles Times reports.
While most talk is focused on the 11 million people in the United States illegally, about 1 million enter every year legally. And, according to the newspaper, that number could increase by 50 percent over the next decade.
While legal immigration has wide support across the political spectrum, the particulars of this bill are not without controversy.
First, the bill aims to cut the current backlog of 4 million waiting for reunions with family members in the U.S. That would be accomplished by increasing the number of visas issued per year.
The bill also would cut back on the ability for legal residents’ siblings or married children over 30 to get visas. But it would increase the ability for children and parents to get them.
"It's people who are coming in for economic benefit rather than just family connection,” Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., told the Times.
The authors of the bill believe legal immigration would fall again after 10 years because the backlog would shrink.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has gotten behind the bill, which has made it easier to bring more GOP members on board, the Times reports. Business owners have expressed the importance of getting more skilled workers to boost economic output.
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