President Donald Trump said Wednesday that American businesses needed more immigration to help grow their businesses in a revitalized economy.
“Well, we’re going going to have a lot of people coming into the country, we want a lot of people coming in and we need it, it’s not a question of do we want it,” the president said, in response to a question from reporters at the end of a White House meeting of his American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
Trump told the CEOs that legal immigration was important for American companies to grow in a competitive business environment.
“We’re going to let a lot of people come in because we need workers. They have to have workers,” Trump said, citing current low unemployment statistics in the United States. “In one way, I love it. But in another way, I don’t want to make it hard for you to get those companies rolling with really great people.”
Trump added that the workforce policy advisory board would also help provide opportunities for American workers in American companies.
“Our great workers. Nobody has workers like we do,” he said at the beginning of the meeting.
The board is co-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump and includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, Siemens CEO Barbara Humpton, IBM CEO Virginia Rometty, and Home Depot CEO Craig Menear.
Other members include Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue and National Federation of Independent Business CEO Juanita D. Duggan, as well as state and local political leaders and education professionals.
Since taking office, Trump has repeatedly cited the booming economy as a reason to allow more legal immigration into the country, despite his promise to help create more jobs and wage growth for the American worker.
“Companies are roaring back into our country, and now we want people to come in,” Trump said last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “We need workers to come in, but they’ve got to come in legally, and they’ve got to come in through merit, merit, merit.”