Immigration restrictionists were elated over the re-introduction of the RAISE Act, noting that it would limit "immigration rights" to immediate family members like spouses and children. He's obviously thinking about a presidential run after Trump is gone. And since Republicans only hold 52 seats, that would require the support of eight Democrats while also assuming every Republican backs the legislation.
"This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy".
That's Tom Cotton, 39, son of a cattle farmer, Harvard law grad and former McKinsey consultant who's also served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It also proposes to end the "diversity visa lottery" under which the U.S. grants 50,000 green cards annually to people randomly selected from countries with low rates of immigration to the US. Both have advocated for reducing the number of legal immigrants to the U.S.
"The RAISE act would give us a more merit-based immigration system that admits the best and brightest around the world while making it harder for people to come here illegally", he said.
Supporters, including the president, say the bill would spur the US economy and help American workers, but critics argue the bill would make the USA less competitive. Plans are to eliminate diversity lottery visas and limit the number of refugees offered permanent residency.More news: Kenyan election official slain days before vote
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The RAISE Act, Trump said, "ends chain migration and replaces our low-skill system with a points-based system for receiving a green card".
This legislation, however, marks Mr Trump's first significant attempt at reforming the legal immigration system - and the country's most dramatic such attempt in more than 50 years. Legal immigrants coming into the U.S.at a rate 30 percent lower than ever before when the current population is taken into account, he said and that combined with Baby Boomers retiring droves and a historically low birthrate among Americans are setting the country up for a serious worker shortage "and I'm not sure if the senators are aware that they're being misled by these numbers".
The wrinkle, though, is that the Cotton/Perdue aims to reduce legal immigration as a goal in itself, not just as an expected side effect of giving preference to immigrants with more valuable skills.
Make immigration work for America again..
"We want a merit-based system, one that protects our workers, our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy".
"Are they being paid a high wage?"
And restricting the number of people that can enter the American labor force?