Back to the 1980s

by Rich Lowry

Just how radical are the cuts to legal immigration proposed in Cotton-Perdue? If they indeed reduced legal immigration to 500-600,000 a year, it would take us back to the 1980s, which were a long time ago but hardly the dark ages. As this chart from the Migration Policy Institute shows, levels bounced between 500-600,000 from 1980 to 1990. It was after the 1990 immigration law that we reached a different level, and began in subsequent years hitting close to a million and more recently, above a million. 

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