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In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Our Immigration Plan is Pro-Worker and Pro-Growth” Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) make the case for their RAISE Act that would update “our immigration laws to attract more ultra-high-skilled workers — and give working-class families the raise they deserve”.

Below are excerpts from the op-ed:

The basic principles of those laws haven’t been changed in over half a century, making them divorced from the needs of our economy, while also depressing working-class wages. That’s why we’ve introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act.

 

Our legislation would do just that by creating a skills-based points system similar to those used for decades in Canada and Australia. A points system identifies and attracts the world’s most-skilled immigrants. And by limiting the flood of low-skilled workers, it would encourage employers to hire, train and pay more to American workers already here.

The new system would have a two-step process.

First, potential immigrants would apply online to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and pay a $160 screening fee. They’d receive an immediate score, on a scale of 0 to 100, based on education, age, job, investment, extraordinary achievements and English-language ability.

Second, twice a year, USCIS would invite the top scorers to pay a $345 application fee and complete their applications. USCIS would invite enough high-scoring applicants to meet the current 140,000 green-card slots. 

The new system would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, but not for most extended and adult family members. It would eliminate the so-called diversity visa lottery, which hands out green cards randomly without regard to skills or family connections, is plagued by fraud and doesn’t even promote diversity. It would also remove per-country caps on immigration, so that high-skilled applicants aren’t shut out of the process because of their country of origin. In addition, the bill would cap the number of refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a recent 13-year average.

These changes are pro-worker, pro-growth and proven to work. They would ultimately reduce our annual immigration levels by half after ten years and reorient it toward high-skilled workers, which is just what our economy needs. Furthermore, these changes have widespread public support. They would raise wages for working Americans, create jobs, give immigrants a decent shot at moving up the economic ladder and make America more competitive. It makes no sense to stick with 50-year-old immigration laws. Let’s finally bring them into the 21st century.

Read the full op-ed at USA Today.

RAISE Act
Chain Migration
visa lottery
Tom Cotton
David Perdue

Updated: Wed, Aug 9th 2017 @ 4:26pm EDT