The U.S. Senate now has an immigration bill ready for the consideration, and hopefully it will receive the scrutiny it deserves rather than being dismissed out of hand.
The bill is titled the “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act,” or RAISE for short. It was introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga. It has received the backing of President Trump.
While this bill may not be to the liking of some members of the Senate, all members should at least give it a fair hearing, allow all constructive amendments and then have an up-or-down vote.
Every senator owes it to his or her state and to the nation to hear and debate bills on the issues of our day, or our nation will become crippled by obstructionism and our future will be clouded.
According to Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. added 1,051,031 legal immigrants in 2015.
But according to statistics from Cotton’s data summary for the bill, that 2015 number would be cut by 41 percent with the first year of RAISE’s implementation and by 50 percent by its 10th year.
Other highlights of the proposed act:
l It would eliminate the “diversity lottery,” which grants 50,000 green cards — entitling immigrants to permanent status and a work permit — to immigrants from low-admission countries.
l The bill would establishes a 50,000-refugee cap, which would disallow a future president from setting a higher number in response to some world event.
l It would institute a point-based system, like Canada’s or Australia’s, that would prioritize high-skill or high-value immigrants. This is also sometimes called a “merit system” of immigration.
l In addition, the act would eliminate family sponsorship for those who aren’t the spouses or minor children of U.S. citizens and would lower capped family categories from 226,000 green cards to 88,000.
Hopefully the Senate will be able to get past the destructive partisan politics that have so harmed our nation in that body, and get on with the nation’s business.
By Liza Addison for AMERICAN PRESS
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