RAISE a Glass to the American Worker Once Again

It’s not every day a bill is introduced in Congress that represents some of the best thinking on a major public policy issue, but the new “RAISE Act” qualifies.  Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) have put their heads together to introduce the “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act.” It seeks to boost working wages and enhance American competitiveness. It deserves our support.

The RAISE Act makes good on a major Trump campaign promise to reduce immigration to traditional levels. This innovative bill would finally put in place recurring recommendations from various blue-ribbon commissions dating back more than 35 years. It’s long overdue. Among other things, the RAISE Act would:

Make immigration affordable.

By admitting fewer low-skilled immigrants, solely on the basis of family relationships, it would reduce the rate of welfare dependence among newcomers.

Make immigration manageable.

By curtailing the chain migration of extended families in favor of immediate family households, it would eliminate the backlogs and long waiting lists that encourage so many visa-overstays.  It also dispenses with another Chuck Schumer creation: a pointless “Diversity Lottery” that makes us the laughing stock of the world.  The Raise Act’s sponsors hope to see immigration levels drop over 40 percent in the first year alone.

Make immigration work for America again.

We don’t make buggy whips any longer. Why have an outdated immigration system? Through an innovative skills-based “points structure,” the Raise Act:

  1.  Eliminates the special interest pressure of predatory employer-based foreign labor recruitment that has plagued immigration law for so long
  2.  Ensures more newcomers have the skills compositions to make a real contribution to our economy – to help grow our economy and attract capital for innovation.  But it does so in a way that protects our working families.

Make immigration compatible with today’s labor market.

By reducing chain and employer-sponsored immigration, the bill would help ensure that downward wage pressure from immigration will stop.  Did you know that due to the explosion of unskilled immigration, wages for those who didn’t finish high school have been steadily dropping?  Under the RAISE Act, wages will rise; those hit hardest by low-skill immigration will finally regain a footing on the ladder to the American dream. Isn’t it time we think about the most vulnerable, hardest working Americans?

President Trump promised to Make American Great Again. To help make immigration great again – to ensure immigration serves the American people and our national priorities – the RAISE Act would be a fine place to start.