Cotton and Trump plot crackdown on legal immigration

Overlooked in Donald Trump’s campaign crusade against illegal immigration was his vow to crack down on legal immigration, too.

Now, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a reliable Trump ally, is taking steps to execute that part of the president’s immigration vision — and it could provoke a showdown between two competing ends of the GOP: the working-class populists led by Trump and the establishment Chamber of Commerce wing.

The outspoken, 39-year-old Cotton has written the first in what may be a series of bills to revamp the nation’s immigration system. Cotton will start off with legislation being unveiled Tuesday that will dramatically slash the number of immigrants who can obtain green cards and other visas every year.

The conservative rising star is poised to step into the role being vacated in the chamber by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has long preached the economic virtues of restricting legal immigration in favor of U.S. citizens — a view disputed by business-friendly Republicans who have pushed for a more expansionist immigration policy. Sessions is set to be confirmed as attorney general this week.

“Donald Trump was the only one who saw that most Americans don’t like our current immigration system,” Cotton said in an interview with POLITICO on Monday.

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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…