In an August 2, 2017 press conference, Trump unveiled his support of the
Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, which
would end the Diversity Visa Program, create a skills-based immigration
points system and reduce the number of family-based immigrants and refugees
migrating to the U.S.
The RAISE Act, introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue
(R-GA), proposes a skills based immigration system that would essentially
cut legal immigration to the U.S. by 50%. Trump, as part of his campaign
to reduce the flow of immigrants to the U.S, argued that the path to protect
American workers is by reducing unskilled workers and creating a merit-based
system. Essentially, what this would mean is that the United States Citizenship
& Immigration Services would have the ability to grade immigrants
based on their ability and skills in deciding whether to grant authorization
to work in the United States. Applicants would need to meet certain requirements
to qualify in the merit-based grading system. For instance, the prospective
workers would have to speak English, be judged on their median salary,
their degree level, skills needed by the economy and whether or not they
are able to afford their own healthcare.
Senators Cotton and Perdue argue that the RAISE Act, will “help raise
American workers’ wages by restoring legal immigration levels to
their historical norms and rebalancing the system toward employment-based
visas and immediate-family household member.” Implementing the RAISE
Act would cut back on “chain migration” or in other words,
immigrating to the United Stated via a series of petitions by family members.
The Act will limit family-based migration to spouses and minor children,
through the elimination of sponsorship categories that exist for other
family members under our current laws. In addition, the Act seeks to eliminate
the international diversity visa lottery program and limit the number
of annual refugee admissions.
If implemented, the RAISE Act would dramatically affect the current immigration
system. The bill, Trump said, “would represent the most significant
reform to our immigration system in half a century.”
Salas Law highly recommends immediately consulting with an attorney to
determine how this Act may affect your work visa eligibility or sponsorship
of your family members. Please contact an experienced Immigration Attorney
in Williamson County to understand what actions you should be taking now
to protect your interests.