President Trump is set to make a huge announcement today that should really be getting far more attention than it is so far. He will join GOP Senators David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas to introduce a bill that will slash legal immigration numbers in half and implement a merit-based system for potential migrants. It’s an updated version of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. It failed in February in the Senate, but it is being resubmitted and it should go through. It’s long past time for this legislation to be put in place.
It used to be the norm for all nations to do exactly this. You don’t just let anyone in. You vet them and then determine if they have something valuable to bring to the table. That’s the sane approach… not throwing open your borders and just letting everyone flow in regardless of their background or qualifications. Canada doesn’t even allow that and they are socialist.
The bill is actually focused on limiting the practice of family chain migration. It utilizes a points system that purports to “tailor the immigration system to meet the needs of our economy.” If they could get this through and get the wall started, it would go a long way to accomplishing part of President Trump’s agenda. The RAISE Act will shift the focus from cracking down on illegal immigration to reducing the number and types of people allowed to immigrate into the US. That doesn’t mean that illegal aliens won’t be stopped, it just means an overhaul of the immigration system will take place.
Some of this is being spurred on by Trump’s desire to protect American workers who are being hurt by the importation of foreign workers using H1B visas. The biggest problem for the US currently is Indian workers being brought into the tech industry, who are displacing highly qualified US workers because they work for less in wages. High skilled workers will still be let in, but their numbers will be controlled and the tech shopping will slow supposedly.
“Instead of today’s low-skilled system — which is a terrible system where anyone comes in, people who have never worked, people that are criminals, anyone comes in — we want a merit-based system,” Trump stated at an Ohio rally last week. “One that protects our workers, protects our taxpayers, and one that protects our economy.” The points-based merit system gives priority to high-skilled immigrants and potential job-creating entrepreneurs. This is a take on the Canadian and Australian immigration systems. You can’t just move to either of those countries – you have to offer them something.
The most hotly contested provision of the bill will slash overall immigration by half. It will do away with chain migration, which is badly needed in the system. Under current immigration law, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their parents, siblings and married adult children for immigrant visas. Under the RAISE Act, only spouses and minor children could apply for admission based on family ties. Annual refugee admissions would be capped at 50,000 and the so-called diversity visa lottery will be completely eliminated.
This bill is meant to normalize immigration to the US, which under the Obama administration spun totally out of control. We took in 1.1 million legal immigrants annually from 2000 to 2015. This could cap that number at 500,000 annually. Perdue and Cotton have been very critical of those historically high levels of immigration, saying they flood the U.S. labor market with low-skill workers who drive down wages for poor and working-class Americans. And they do. It needs to be stopped and should have been done so long ago. As Cotton noted when the original RAISE Act was introduced in February, just one in 15 green cards are granted for employment purposes.
The Democrats for the most part are sure to oppose this bill. It will be a hard slog even with Trump’s support in this particular GOP-controlled Senate. The RINOs and progressives in the midst of the Republicans don’t want this to go through. It’s the usual suspects here… Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina all dismissed the RAISE Act in February, exposing deep divisions within the GOP over the issue of legal immigration. But what it did show was that these Senators are progressives, not conservatives.
This is how they view the situation: “Over the next 20 years, one thing I can say for certain is America is getting older and the number of workers coming up in the system is not where it has been in the past,” Graham said at the time. “We’re going to need to replenish our workforce.” That’s the European view that has caused them to throw their borders open, ushering in violence and catastrophic immigration numbers. The RAISE Act needs to be passed. Let’s hope it gets through this time.
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