Washington (CNN)Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said at a private event Wednesday that the US is “desperate” for more legal immigrants to help grow the economy, according to audio of his comments obtained by The Washington Post.
“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mulvaney said during the event in England, according to the Post. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”The comments seem to put Mulvaney at odds with a number of administration officials, such as White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has advocated for severe restrictions on both legal and illegal immigrants.The White House would want said additional immigrants to arrive in a “legal fashion,” Mulvaney said, according to the paper. He also said that despite President Donald Trump’s reputation for being “anti-immigrant,” the White House was interested in more workers from overseas, the Post reported.Mulvaney added that “we are very interested in expanding” an immigration model similar to those of Canada and Australia, of which he spoke highly, according to the Post.Read MoreJared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law of the President, has made similar calls for giving greater preference to immigrants with high-level skill sets than to those looking to join family members already in the US. But Kushner’s legal immigration proposal is not expected to be approved by Congress before next year, administration officials told the paper.Trump praised legal immigrants and invited them into the country during his State of the Union speech earlier this month.”Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways,” Trump said at the time. “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”He also cited “a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens — this includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws.”