RAISE Act Proposed in Senate
August 8, 2017
President Trump endorsed S. 1720, a bill introduced in the Senate last week by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA). The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, like all proposed bills, would need to be approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives before going to the President to sign into law.
Weaver Schlenger LLP believes the bill as currently written is unlikely to receive the necessary votes to pass the Senate, due to its substantial decrease in the number of family-based green cards and failure to take into account employers’ actual hiring needs. As with all proposed legislation, there is likely to be many committee discussions and debates, leading to amendments before any vote will occur (if at all).
As proposed, the bill would:
- Practically eliminate family-based immigration, except for spouses and children (under 18) of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Adult U.S. citizens would no longer be able to sponsor their parents and siblings for green cards.
- Create a merit-based points system of immigration, based on such factors as command of English, age, education (with preference for STEM), and salary. There is no actual requirement of a job offer.
- Do nothing to eliminate the current backlogs in legal immigration and could negatively impact those who have been waiting in line for years already.
- Limit the number of refugees who can be admitted to 50,000.
- Eliminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
Weaver Schlenger will continue to monitor this proposal as well as other developments likely to affect the business immigration landscape and provide updates here.