President Donald Trump has launched a drive to get Congress to approve a major overhaul of the nation's laws on legal immigration.
Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue is a co-author of the legislation, along with Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton.
The bill would reduce the numbers of immigrants allowed into the country each year. It would also set up a points-based system for people applying for admission — with consideration given to people who speak English, or have advanced job skills, or records of high achievement in their fields.
The idea is to match an applicant's skills with the needs of the U.S. workforce.
The bill also caps the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. at 50,000 per year.
Perdue and the president both said the measure would open more jobs to American workers of all skill levels.
Opponents in both parties argue the measure will not deliver the jobs its supporters promise. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said it would devastate the economy of his state.
On Morning Edition, Denis O'Hayer spoke with Perdue.