Speed Reads

Trump's big speech

Trump touts a 'merit-based' immigration system, claiming it will save 'countless dollars'

President Trump said in his address to Congress he wants the United States to establish a "merit-based system" for immigration, which he says will "save countless dollars, raise workers' wages, and help struggling families — including immigrant families — enter the middle class."

Trump told Congress the National Academy of Sciences has said the current immigration system "costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year," but The Associated Press says the report actually states that immigrants "contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add expenditures by consuming public services." Looking at first-generation immigrants compared to people born in the U.S., the report said the immigrants are typically more expensive for state and local governments, but immigrants' children "are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the population."

The report also states that the "long-run fiscal impact" of immigrants and their children would likely be viewed as more positive "if their role in sustaining labor force growth and contributing to innovation and entrepreneurial activity were taken into account," AP said.