Just when the news over the latest departure from the White House fades into yesterday, another controversial stance is being taken regarding immigration reform. According to a recent ABCNews.com report, President Trump has endorsed a bill that would drastically reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States.
The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE) would ostensibly prioritize workers’ skills over family ties when it comes to obtaining legal resident status (i.e. a green card). The bill would essentially eliminate the current four-tiered family immigration category and replace it with a merit based system that would emphasize a competitive application process favoring skilled workers who speak English, are financially secure and can demonstrate the ability to support the American economy.
The bill likely stems from statements Trump made regarding new immigrants accessing social welfare benefits “immediately” upon arrival. At a June rally in Iowa, he noted that he wanted to bar immigrants from being eligible for welfare for at least five years after arrival.
The bill’s authors, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) describe the bill as being closely modeled after the Canadian and Australian immigration systems, and that the current system doesn’t attract “the very best talent.” Nevertheless, the bill is poised to garner major pushback from lawmakers. After all, the authors introduced a similar bill six months ago and it gained hardly any traction. Immigration reform remains a lower-tiered issue given the lack of success on health care reform.
If you questions about family or business based immigration in light of this story, an experienced attorney can advise you.