WASHINGTON, D.C.(KNWA), — President Donald Trump, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, revealed new legislation on Wednesday to reform the country’s immigration system.
The RAISE Act would change America’s immigration process from its current system to a merit-based system which would look at job skills, Cotton said.
To develop the legislation, Cotton said he and Perdue looked at immigration policies in other nations like Australia and Canada.
“For decades our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our economy, and working Americans’ wages have suffered as a result. Our legislation will set things right,” Cotton said. “We will build an immigration system that raises working wages, creates jobs and gives every American a fair shot at creating wealth, whether your family came over on the Mayflower or just took the oath of citizenship.”
The legislation would:
- Establish a Skills-Based Points System. The RAISE Act would replace the current permanent employment-visa system with a skills-based points system, akin to the systems used by Canada and Australia. The system would prioritize those immigrants who are best positioned to succeed in the United States and expand the economy. Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.
- Prioritize Immediate Family Households. The RAISE Act would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members.
- Eliminate the Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery. The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even promote diversity. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.
- Place a Responsible Limit on Permanent Residency for Refugees. The RAISE Act would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average.