New Bill Could Affect Eligibility for Immigration to the United States

Gavel and PassportIn August 2017, President Trump introduced the people of the United States to the proposed RAISE Act. The Act, otherwise known as the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act, aims to alter how individuals’ eligibility to obtain green cards in the United States is determined. Overall, it would reduce the amount of legal immigration to the United States. The bill is being pushed by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator David Perdue of Georgia, both Republicans.

If Adopted, the Bill Would Switch the United States to a Merit-based System

One of the proposed changes that would come if the bill is adopted to law is a switch to a merit-based visa system, rather than the current system under which individuals who become United States citizens to pursue family-based visas so their loved ones can enter the country. Individuals who are not yet citizens, but are legal residents of the United States, can sponsor their loved ones to aid in their immigration.

The bill would change the United States’ system to one similar to that of Australia and Canada, where immigration applicants are awarded points based on their education and vocational skills. In this type of system, preference is given to highly educated and skilled workers. Ideally, this system would work to reduce poverty in the United States and instead bring in English-speaking immigrants who can contribute to the country’s economy. It would eliminate all family-sponsored visas other than those for spouses and minor children of citizens and legal residents.

Bill May Reduce Immigration to the United States

During his campaign, then-candidate Trump promised to reduce all immigration to the United States. This bill would do just that if adopted. By eliminating family-sponsored visas, the largest current category of documented immigrants would be significantly reduced. It would also reduce the number of refugees entering the country by about half and eliminate the diversity visa lottery. Currently, the United States issues about one million green cards each year. If the bill becomes law, this number would be reduced to approximately 600,000.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Immigrants and their Families Manage Legal Issues

When you are facing a complicated immigration issue, working with an experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand the issue better and increase your chance of reaching a fair and satisfactory resolution. Complete our online contact form or call 215-925-4435 today to schedule your initial consultation with a dedicated and knowledgeable Philadelphia immigration lawyer at Surin & Griffin, P.C.

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