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Report says Trump immigration plan will cost 4.6 million jobs

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump’s immigration plan that would give priority to immigrants filling skilled job positions could result in the loss of 4.6 million jobs, a study released Thursday said.

The study by the Penn Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania — Trump’s alma mater — said the Reforming American immigration for Strong Employment Act would cause the massive job loss by 2040.

The school said the job losses would result from American citizens failing to fill occupations that immigrants workers would have filled.

The study said the RAISE Act would cost about 90,000 jobs in the first year alone. It did not specify which industries would be hardest hit.

The study said the act would cause the United States’ gross domestic product to drop 2 percent by 2040 compared with leaving the current immigration system in place.

However, the drop in GDP would not be felt for several years. The school said the GDP per capita would increase by 2027 because the capital stock would be similar to pre-RAISE Act numbers.

That would change as the number of immigrants working and saving in the country decreases, leading to the later impact on GDP.

The RAISE Act was expected to cut legal immigration by 40 percent in its first year and as high as 50 percent a decade later.

The president said the new system would essentially give American workers a raise by reducing competition created by low-skill workers who were given a green card.

The White House said that only 1 in 15 immigrants comes to the U.S. because of their skills, and the current system fails to place a priority on highly skilled immigrants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.