August 2, 2017

President Trump Introduces Bill to Slash Legal Immigration Levels

by Rabindra Singh

Today, President Donald J. Trump introduced The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act). President Trump appeared with a pair of conservative Republican Senators [Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.)] at the White House to unveil legislation aimed at slashing legal immigration levels over a decade. RAISE Act aims to address our current outdated immigration system which fails to meet the diverse needs of our economy.

Specifically, the RAISE Act would:

  • Establish a Skills-Based Points System. The RAISE Act would replace the current permanent employment-visa system with a skills-based points system, akin to the systems used by Canada and Australia. The system would prioritize those immigrants who are best positioned to succeed in the United States and expand the economy. Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.


  • 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  • Eliminate the Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery. The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even promote diversity. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.


  • Place a 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.

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