Immigration Reform Project: RAISE Act

The bill, which was introduced yesterday by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) and endorsed by President Donald Trump, does not live up to his immigration reform title, by the On the contrary, it is a reversal of the law because it seeks to reduce the legal levels of immigration projected over the next 10 years.

The bill changes not only the concepts established by the INA (Immigration Law in force in the US) but also modifies the programs recognized in said law.

RAISE’s goal:

  1. Reduce legal immigration to the United States by 50% over the next 10 years.
  2. Create a “merit” based system that does not take into account the needs of companies in the US
  3. Eliminate or reduce immigration based on “family” because if this law is approved, American citizens and permanent residents could only sponsor spouses or minor children. The other categories of “family” would be without effect.

Who benefits from RAISE?

Only those who speak English and have the financial resources to support themselves and their families and contribute to the US economy.

What Programs are in danger?

  1. Visa Lottery.- The “visa lottery” program is eliminated, which grants 50,000 annual visas by lottery to nationals of countries worldwide with low rates of immigration to the USA.
  2. Refugees.- The annual number of visas available for refugees admitted to the US is reduced to 50,000.
  3. Family Immigration.- With the change to a “merit” program to obtain US residency, the other categories of “family” such as older siblings or children would be eliminated or restricted. Likewise, the concept of immediate family is modified since the parents of citizen children could not acquire permanent residence if they do not know English or dedicate themselves only to household chores. The only exception established by this project would be sick or elderly parents who would receive temporary visas and not a green card that has a sponsor that guarantees health insurance and support for them.

What will happen with the waiting time to immigrate legally?

By cutting the number of visas to legally immigrate to the country in half, the waiting time for people trying to immigrate from different countries of the world to come to this country could be increased, either through a job or a family member.

Every month the US Department of State publishes the visas available to continue the immigration process for people trying to immigrate to the US, the waiting time and fees for each country varies. In countries such as India, Mexico, the Philippines and others, those times are already extremely long and would lengthen even further.

In summary, defending job protection for US nationals, the RAISE bill ignores the concept of “family reunification” as a premise for promoting a nation of legal immigrants and economic growth. Immigrants are not only workers, but also consumers and contribute taxes and consequently the development of local and national communities.

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