President Trump has placed his support over the new immigration bill proposed by GOP senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue titled the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy). The bill plans to cut legal immigration in half over a decade. The focus of the bill would shift US immigration practices to a merit-based system, and would lower family based immigration significantly.

Family ties provide a considerable amount of green cards every year through the sponsorship of family members by a US citizen family member. The proposed plan would reduce green cards to family members of US citizens and remove the opportunity for sponsorship of siblings and adult children.

One goal of this proposal is to attempt to decrease “chain migration,” or migration between family members for family reunification purposes. Eligibility of legal entry will be based on a point system judging an individual’s English levels, education levels and job skill, overall attempting to exclude low-skilled immigration. The Trump administration believes that this approach will provide support to the American working class and distribute jobs more efficiently.

The government would also obtain jurisdiction in choosing immigrants for employment purposes rather than companies. Senator Perdue believes that this bill will “fix some of the shortcomings in our legal Immigration system.” The bill would also decrease refugee admissions to 50,000, while removing the visa diversity lottery. The visa diversity lottery awards 50,000 green cards to individuals from countries with smaller immigration rates.

Many critics believe that creating more opportunities for skilled workers would overall create a larger economy and fail to create more jobs for the American working class. Immigration as a whole brings in a tremendous amount of economic revenue from all classes and serves to aid the age gap in the workforce. Many immigrants are of working age and without these individuals, the workforce may have to turn to an older range of Americans. Republican and Democratic senators are beginning to speak out about the repercussions of this bill and provide their doubts for its approval.

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