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Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA) unveiled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, legislation that will help raise American workers’ wages by restoring legal immigration levels to their historical norms and rebalancing the system toward employment-based visas and immediate-family household members. The RAISE Act would lower overall immigration to 637,960 in its first year and to 539,958 by its tenth year-a 50 percent reduction from the 1,051,031 immigrants who arrived in 2015.
“It’s time our immigration system started working for American workers,” said Senator Cotton. “The RAISE Act would promote higher wages on which all working Americans can build a future-whether your family came over here on the Mayflower or you just took the oath of citizenship.”
“We are taking action to fix some of the shortcomings in our legal immigration system,” said Senator Perdue. “Returning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages.”
Specifically, the RAISE Act would:
- Prioritize Immediate Family Households. The RAISE Act would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members.
- Eliminate Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery. The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even deliver the diversity of its namesake. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.
- Place Responsible Limit on Permanent Residency for Refugees. The RAISE Act would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average.