The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE) Act – introduced by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, with the support of President Trump – would eliminate the immigration system that we know today and replace it with a points-based system that ignores the benefits of family unity and the needs of U.S. employers.
The RAISE Act is an attack on legal immigration that would slash the number of immigrants the U.S. welcomes each year without a reasonable correlation to family reunification or the economic needs of our nation. Our country needs a strong immigration system that recognizes the value of families and the needs of U.S. businesses. This bill fails to recognize that strong families contribute to the economy and operates on the false assumption that legal immigration harms our economy.
Americans recognize the value of keeping families together to create a stronger nation. This Act would force close family members to live apart, likely for their entire lives:
- The bill would eliminate ALL family-based legal immigration categories except for spouses and children (under the age of 18) of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. This means, for example, that adult U.S. citizen children would be denied the opportunity to permanently sponsor their parents, a direct attack on the rights of U.S. citizens.
- Family-based immigration has a positive impact on business development and community improvement by creating strong communities which foster an environment for the development of local businesses.
A points-based system that fails to adequately take into consideration the needs of U.S. employers will not make our economy stronger. If U.S. companies cannot access the workers they need to grow and thrive in the United States, they will turn to other options, such as expanding operations outside the United States.
- U.S. businesses best understand their business demands and the kinds of workers they need to grow and prosper and should, therefore, have a direct role to play in selecting the workers they need.
- Some of the key problems with a points-based system are illustrated by the experience of Canada. High-skilled immigrants who are admitted because of their education and work experience and without a job offer have no guarantee of finding a job in their field. This forces many high-skilled immigrants to take low-skilled jobs, often in fields outside their area of expertise.
- Additionally, economic studies have found that immigrants pay more into the system than they take out.