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Everything You Need to Know about the RAISE Act

Photo Credit: Cristian L. Ricardo

The country is buzzing following the announcement of a new piece of immigration legislation backed by the White House. The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act seeks to fulfill the Trump campaign’s thematic promise to create a better, merit-based, America-first policy for immigration. Here are the highlights:

  • Caps refugees at 50,000 per year, taken from a 13-year average
  • Ends the ‘visa diversity lottery’ which has been awarded to 50,000 people per year
  • Introduces new greencards which will be based on a point system, prioritizing those who speak English, those who have higher levels of education and job skills, and those who have entreprenuerial intiative
  • Requires 60 votes in the Senate (to end debate)
  • Lowers immigration overall, especially those who are low-skilled
  • Prioritizes keeping nuclear families together:
    • “The RAISE Act prioritizes immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and minor children, but ends preferences for extended family members and adult children.  Also, United States citizens needing to take care of elderly parents can receive renewable, temporary visas for them.”

The bill will be sponsored by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA), the same duo which introduced a strikingly similar bill in April.

This raises an important question: Could this bold immigration legislation garner the 60 votes required? Considering that Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) rebelled against the party on the infamous skinny Obamacare repeal vote, the prospects for this bill do not look promising. However, Trump and company seem to be very able to perform with the odds stacked against them (for he would not be president otherwise). Certainly, if all else fails, the so-called “nuclear option” could be invoked, necessitating a simple majority for the act to pass.

What do you think? Will the RAISE Act make it to President Trump’s desk? Let us know on Twitter: @RouserNews

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