Aug 02 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the proposal to restrict legal immigration.
“I've always supported merit-based immigration. I think we should always want to attract the best and brightest to the United States.
“Unfortunately, the other part of this proposal would reduce legal immigration by half, including many immigrants who work legally in our agriculture, tourism and service industries.
“South Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture and tourism is number two. If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state’s economy which relies on this immigrant workforce.
“South Carolina’s agriculture and tourism industry advertise for American workers and want to fill open positions with American workers. Unfortunately, many of these advertised positions go unfilled. Hotels, restaurants, golf courses and farmers will tell you this proposal – to cut legal immigration in half -- would put their business in peril.
“Finally, I fear this proposal will not only hurt our agriculture, tourism and service economy in South Carolina, it incentivizes more illegal immigration as positions go unfilled. After dealing with this issue for more than a decade, I know that when you restrict legal labor to employers it incentivizes cheating.”