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Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., want to cut legal immigration into the U.S. in half.

Roughly 1 million foreigners are granted green cards annually, which the senators want to take down to 500,000 to align better with “historic” norms, the duo said Tuesday.

“It’s like adding the population of Montana every year, or the population of Arkansas every three,” Cotton said. “Only 1 of every 15” green cards granted are for work purposes.

The immigration system is “not working for American workers,” Cotton said.

Their Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act would eliminate the “diversity” lottery — through which 50,000 immigrants enter the U.S. annually — while dropping the number of refugees admitted to 50,000.

Calling the current immigration system “unthinking,” Cotton said he spoke to President Trump Tuesday about the bill and that the president supports the legislation’s goal.

Both Cotton and Perdue said they are not trying to overhaul the entire immigration system but rather “fix” one component.

They think a “piecemeal” approach can achieve consensus more easily and possibly attract Democratic votes.

Today’s system just sort of happened, Cotton said. “No one ever voted for [it], and most people actually don’t like” it, he said.

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The RAISE Act is not a “sweeping fix to everything” but a “rational, compassionate approach” to changing the nation’s immigration laws, Perdue said.

The lawmakers say they support allowing highly skilled foreigners to emigrate to the U.S. but that tweaking the laws governing employment-based immigration is a matter for separate legislation.

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