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Capitol Hill Report: To the forefront . . .
August 11, 2017
To the forefront . . .
Even though the House and Senate are currently in recess, President Trump continues to bring the issues of illegal immigration and American jobs to the forefront. He recently announced his support for the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (S. 1720, “the RAISE Act”) sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA). The RAISE Act makes great strides on a number of immigration issues.
First, this bill uses a proven merit-based system that has been previously implemented in Australia and Canada. Certain criteria would be implemented to decide who may enter the United States. Criteria include education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, past achievements, and entrepreneurial initiative. This will reduce the number of low-skilled workers who have been shipped over to replace American workers. They may still bring their families with them, but the RAISE Act would limit those members to the nuclear family- spouse and children, thus alleviating chain migration.
Second, it eliminates the Diversity Visa lottery system. This lottery system essentially picks 50,000 "winners" out a hat per year to award them citizenship in the United States. The State Department conducted an audit in the 1990s which concluded that the lottery system was riddled with fraudulent applications which used up an absurd amount of time and resources. However, we still have the same system many years later. This corrupt system has, in turn, encouraged illegal immigration.
Lastly, it would cap the number of permanent resident statuses given to refugees. Under the Obama administration, the President could allow any number of refugees to reside in the United States as he preferred. The RAISE Act would cap the admissions at 50,000. Even though this is still a high number, it is a first step in lowering the overall admissions.
According to Numbers USA Research Director Eric Ruark, the RAISE Act would eventually reduce immigration by about half; therefore, the percent per capita share of GDP would increase. This means income inequality would be reduced by reducing immigration. Sponsors Sen. Cotton and Purdue conclude that it would “raise wages for all working Americans, create jobs, give immigrants a decent shot at moving up the ladder, and make Americans more competitive.”
President Trump has continued to keep his campaign promise of restoring jobs to the American people and reducing immigration numbers. Eagle Forum will watch this bill as it begins to move through the Senate.