What Lies Beneath the Raise Act?

The recently introduced Trump inspired Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (Raise Act) would mark a sweeping overhaul for the U.S. immigration system. It will significantly reduce levels of legal immigration to the United States by drastically cutting off some family-based categories, redefining others, and eliminating the diversity Visa. It would also substitute the existing employment-based (PERM) with a narrow and rigid point system.
An evaluation of the proposed system requires an understanding of its potential implications: The proposed system would represent a big change from the demand-driven model that characterizes the U.S. employment-based (PERM) immigration system, which allows employers to select the workers they need, subject to government regulations. Switching to the points system proposed in the RAISE Act may result in a higher proportion of high-skilled immigrants, this may not lead to economic growth, contrary to Trump’s suggestions. An effort to create a points system conflicts with many core values the United States has traditionally embraced, such as providing equal opportunities for all, fighting discrimination of all sorts, protecting minorities and disadvantaged groups, and preserving family unity. This bill could destroy family-unity base immigration.
The proposed points system likely would put some categories of people at a tremendous disadvantage. Those groups include women, people who work in the informal economy (including those who do unpaid work), individuals with family ties to U.S. citizens but without formal education and employment history, middle-aged and older adults, and applicants from less-developed countries. This proposal raises concerns not only about the technical design of the points system, but the foundational values upon which the proposed new system is based. These concerns suggest that, before eliminating existing visa categories and replacing them with others, lawmakers must carefully explore the impacts of any new program to determine whether such a program can meet the needs of the nation. The existing PERM system has worked for generations and has helped thousands to obtain a Green Card without an investment and without the need to marry a USC.
The proposed points system may also result in nationality bias, which lead to translated into a systematic exclusion of immigrants from countries with lower levels of human capital arbitrarily valued under the system. The Diversity Visa component, which has been an important part of the U.S. immigration system for more than twenty years, would—under this bill—be terminated. The Trump administration’s key immigration advisor Stephen Miller has always worked to eliminate the Visa-Lottery despite the fact that his uncle, a U.S. medical doctor called him a HYPORCRITE.
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