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Republican pollster says Trump's immigration plan based on low US demand for unskilled workers

Republican pollster B.J. Martino on Tuesday argued that President Trump’s immigration proposal is driven in large part by an economy where less-educated workers are not in demand. “We have a booming economy. We have unemployment that is basically down at the structural level. We can’t drive unemployment down any further," Martino, senior vice president for The Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV host Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." "Everybody who wants a job in this country can find one right now, so we don’t need that sort of pool of less educated labor at this point,” Martino added. “I think what they are looking for is for the jobs that are out there -- the people we want to place are those who have some education, and have some job skills, and can speak English.” Trump's immigration proposal, announced May 16, outlines a shift away from family unification to what the White House calls a merit-based immigration system. Currently, 12 percent of immigrants coming to the U.S. are admitted based on an employer relationship or ability. The president’s plan would aim to increase that number to 60 percent. The proposal would prioritize skilled workers with high levels of education. A Hill-HarrisX survey of registered voters released Tuesday found that only 8 percent of respondents said they wanted an immigration system that prioritizes family unification over job skills. —Alec D'Angelo

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