President Donald Trump speaks during an announcement on immigration reform accompanied by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) (L) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA) (R), in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, August 2, 2017.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

President Donald Trump speaks during an announcement on immigration reform accompanied by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) (L) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA) (R), in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, August 2, 2017.

Trump contended the changes in the bill would mark “the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.” He touted the changes as moving to a more “merit-based” immigration system. The president said the plan would “increase wages and save taxpayers billions.”

Critics have argued that it could potentially cut off the flow of lower-skilled workers to key industries and harm the U.S. economy.

It is not clear if the proposal as it stands can make it through Congress. Some Republicans in the Senate may prove reluctant to the support the plan.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Wednesday contended the proposal would be “devastating” to his state’s economy.

In promoting the bill, Cotton, a staunch conservative, called the U.S. immigration system an “obsolete disaster.”

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