There's a deep political divide over how to handle immigration, and clashes over the issue have contributed to two government shutdowns—albeit one lasting mere hours—thus far this year. Battles relating to illegal immigration, including the question of border security and the status of so-called "dreamers"—those brought into the United States illegally as children—are receiving the most attention. But the fight over the legal immigration system could also prove to have a significant impact on the U.S. economy.
President Donald Trump has called for an end to the diversity lottery program, which offers visas to those from nations that have relatively few immigrants in the United States. He also wants to end the heavy use of family-based visa programs.
The diversity lottery program isn't especially popular, and the bipartisan Gang of Eight agreement passed by the Senate in 2013 would have ended the program. However, legal immigration reform shouldn't be limited to reducing programs considered undesirable. It should also include expanding programs that are more narrowly focused on benefiting the U.S. economy, writes Veronique de Rugy.
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