Immigration

Immigration Reform: Merit-Based Entry Is the Way to Go

The newly introduced RAISE Act would fundamentally change U.S. immigration standards.

Thomas Gallatin · Aug. 3, 2017

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) announced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. Trump said the legislation “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.” The measure would dramatically change the primary basis on which new immigrant applicants are evaluated. The U.S.‘s current immigration system favors family ties and connections; under the new reforms the emphasis would shift to one of “merit-based” considerations.

National Review’s Robert VerBruggen explains, “It would end the diversity lottery and preferences for family members aside from spouses, minor children, and elderly parents in need of care. And it would put those seeking green cards on the basis of employment — 140,000 of which would be available annually, the same number as today — through a new point system similar to those used in other developed countries.” That point system would evaluate “their level of education, their English fluency, their age (with ten points for those 26 to 30 and zero points for those 50 and up), and the salary they’ve been offered.” The one downside is that it deliberately reduces the number of immigrants, which is odd if we’d be getting more desirable immigrants.

Trump added, “As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers and that’s why we are here today.” He further stated that the new measure would “reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.”

As night follows day, the RAISE Act has already started to received blowback from not only Democrats and their open-borders cohorts in the mainstream media but from several Republicans as well. It’s probably fair to say the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare had a better chance of passing than does the RAISE Act. While it is almost certain that the proposed legislation in its current form will not reach Trump’s desk, it does afford him the opportunity of the bully pulpit to lay the groundwork for initiating the process of sensible immigration reform, a major issue of his campaign platform.

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