2018 Federal Issues

Georgia Tea Party, Inc. Federal Task Force Priorities rev. June 2018


Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act)
Senator Tom Cotton (R) Arkansas   Senator David Perdue (R) Georgia

A Bill to Raise Working Wages & Boost American Competitiveness
The Problem with Our Immigration System

Our immigration system isn’t designed for the 21st century. The world is moving toward a knowledge and
innovation economy. But only 1 out of every 15 U.S. immigrants come here because of their skills, and we do not
prioritize the ultra high-skilled immigrants who spur innovation, create jobs, and make America more competitive.
At the same time, the United States accepts 1 million immigrants annually—the equivalent of adding the entire
state of Montana each year—and most are low- or unskilled. A generation-long influx of low-skilled immigrant
labor has put downward pressure on the wages of working Americans, with recent immigrants’ wages hardest hit.
For Americans who didn’t finish high school, wages have dropped nearly 20 percent since the 1970s. This collapse
in working-class wages threatens to create a near-permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is just
out of reach.

The RAISE Act Solution

The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act) would spur economic growth and help
raise working Americans’ wages ending chain migration, giving priority to the most skilled immigrants from
around the world, and reducing overall immigration by half. Specifically, the RAISE Act would:
Establish a Skills-Based Points System. The RAISE Act would replace the current permanent employment-visa
framework 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 keeps immigration preferences for the spouses and minor
children of U.S. residents, encouraging the unification of nuclear families. It eliminates preferences for extended
family and grown adult family members of U.S. residents. For U.S. citizens who need to bring elderly parents to
the United States for caretaking purposes, the bill creates a renewable temporary visa for such parents.

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. It is an arbitrary way to distribute the precious
privilege of U.S. citizenship, and the RAISE Act would eliminate it.
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.

The RAISE Act’s Impact

An America That’s More Competitive in the World. Immigrants coming here on skills-based visas will be better
educated, more skilled, more fluent in English, have more working-age years ahead of them, and have a stronger
entrepreneurial spirit. They will have a greater shot at becoming successful Americans, which will work to the
benefit of all Americans in the form of an expanded and more competitive economy.
Rising Wages for Working Americans. According to immigration-projection models based on the work of
Princeton and Harvard professors, the RAISE Act would lower overall immigration to 637,960 in its first year—a 41
percent drop—and to 539,958 by its tenth year—a 50 percent reduction. The RAISE Act will stem the flow of lowskill immigrants into the United States, reduce our country’s oversupply of low- and unskilled labor, and lead to an
increase in wages for working Americans, who are long overdue for a raise.

SECURING AMERICA’S FUTURE ACT
JUDICIARY.HOUSE.GOV | HOMELAND.HOUSE.GOV

REFOCUSES LEGAL IMMIGRATION ON SKILLS NEEDED IN THE U.S.

SECURES OUR BORDERS, PREVENTS FUTURE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION VIA INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT
DACA

• Ends the Diversity Program – Eliminates the visa lottery green card program
• Ends Chain Migration – Eliminates green card programs for relatives (other than spouses and minor
children); creates a renewable temporary visa for parents of citizens to unite families at no cost to taxpayers
• Reduces Overall Immigration Levels – Reduces immigration levels (now averaging over 1,060,000 a year) by
about 260,000 a year – a decrease of about 25%
• Increases Immigration Levels for Skilled Workers – Increases the number of green cards available in the
three skilled worker green card categories from about 120,000 a year to about 175,000 – an increase of 45%
• Agricultural Workers – Creates a workable agricultural guest worker program to grow our economy
• Visa Security – Sends additional ICE agents to more high-risk embassies overseas to vet visitors and
immigrants
• Build the Border Wall – Authorizes border wall construction
• Advanced Technology – Additional technology, roads and other tactical infrastructure to secure the border
• Secures Ports of Entry – Improves, modernizes, and expands ports of entry along the southern border
• More Boots on the Ground – Adds 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 CBP Officers
• Use of the National Guard – Authorizes the Guard to provide aviation and intelligence support for border
security operations
• Biometric Entry-Exit System – Requires full implementation at all air, land, and sea ports of entry
• Makes E-Verify Mandatory – Employers must check to see that they are only hiring legal workers
• Cracks Down on Sanctuary Cities – Authorizes the Department of Justice to withhold law enforcement
grants from sanctuary cities/allows victims to sue the sanctuary cities that released their attackers
• Facilitates Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement – Establishes probable cause standards for ICE
detainers/indemnifies localities that comply/requires ICE enter into 287(g) agreements requested by localities
• Detaining Dangerous Individuals – Allows DHS to detain dangerous illegal immigrants who cannot be
removed
• Kate’s Law – Enhances criminal penalties for deported criminals who illegally return
• Combats Asylum Fraud – Tightens the “credible fear” standard to root out frivolous claims and increases
penalties for fraud/terminates asylum for individuals who voluntarily return home
• Keeps Out and Removes Dangerous Criminals – Makes illegal immigrants removable for being gang
members/makes those with convictions for aggravated felonies, not registering as sex offenders, and multiple
DUIs removable
• Visa Overstays – Makes illegal presence a federal misdemeanor (illegally crossing the border already is a
crime)
• Safely Returns Unaccompanied Minors – Ensures the safe and quick return of unaccompanied minors
apprehended at the border; allows for the detention of minors apprehended at the border with their parents
• Legislatively Provides Legal Status – Individuals who received deferred action on the basis of being
brought to the U.S. as minors get a 3-year renewable legal status allowing them to work and travel overseas
(without advance parole). There is no special path to a green card. Recipients may only make use of existing
paths to green cards
• No Criminals – No gang members or those with criminal convictions/convictions in juvenile court for serious
crimes are eligible
• Combats Fraud – Strong anti-fraud measures/allows for prosecutions for fraud

Bob Goodlatte, Raúl Labrador
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Michael McCaul, Martha McSally
HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE

Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act)
A Bill to Raise Working Wages & Boost American Competitiveness
Section-By-Section Summary
Section 1 names the bill the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act.
Section 2 eliminates the Diversity Visa program. Currently, 50,000 visas are allotted annually in a lottery to
applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, with no regard to the
applicants’ skills.

Section 3 caps the number of refugees granted permanent visas to the United States at 50,000 per year, in
line with a 13-year average. It also requires the President to report the annual number of refugees
admitted to the United States.

Section 4 maintains immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. residents, but
eliminates visa preferences for extended family and grown adult family members of U.S. residents. It also
creates a renewable temporary visa for the elderly parents of U.S. residents to the come to the United
States for caretaking purposes.
Section 4(e) grandfathers in potential immigrants awaiting entry under immigration categories
eliminated by the RAISE Act if their entry into the United States is scheduled to occur within one
year of the RAISE Act’s enactment.

Section 5 replaces the current employment-based immigration system with an immigration points system,
akin to the systems used by Canada and Australia. The points categories are based on predictors of
immigrant success and economic contribution. Up to 140,000 employment-based visas will be issued
annually to the highest scoring applicants.

Sections 5(c) & (d) describe the points-based system.
o Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers,
age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.
o Potential immigrants who were awaiting entry under family preference categories
eliminated by the RAISE Act but who do not qualify under the grandfather provision in
Section 4 are allotted points if they apply through the points system.
o Applicants must reach a 30-point threshold to eligible for an employment-based visa.
o Eligible applicants enter a pool of potential immigrants from which U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services twice a year invites the highest scorers to file full applications and
undergo security vetting.
o Immigrant households arriving through the points system are not eligible for federal meanstested benefits for a period of 5 years.
Section 5(e) requires an annual statistical report on the skills-based points system.
Section 5(f) requires a quadrennial report to Congress recommending updates to the points system
with the aim of improving the economy and enhancing working Americans’ wages.
Section 6 conditions naturalization on the sponsors of an immigrant fulfilling their obligation to reimburse the
federal government for benefits used by the immigrant, as required under current law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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