U.S. President Donald Trump plans a speech in coming days to lay out his views on how immigration laws should be overhauled, Republican senators said on Tuesday after top White House advisers briefed them on the plan.
Trump has been working with advisers on a proposal to boost visas for highly skilled workers seeking to immigrate to the United States and cut back on other types of visas – a plan unlikely to pass Congress ahead of the November 2020 presidential election.
Republicans and Democrats have fought for years about how to overhaul outdated immigration laws, and the battle has become even more polarized since 2016 when Trump ran for office on a pledge to build a wall on the southern U.S. border to keep out migrants entering the country illegally.
Republican Senators John Cornyn and John Barrasso told reporters that Trump would give his views in a speech as soon as this week.
A group Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress introduced legislation on Tuesday intended to prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the United States.
The bill would require the U.S. government to create a list of scientific and engineering institutions affiliated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by those institutions from receiving the visas.
The bill was introduced as the United States and China have escalated a trade war following difficult negotiations last week.
It also comes as some U.S. officials have expressed concern about the possibility of the theft of intellectual property or even espionage by Chinese nationals at U.S. universities and other institutions.