Bill Proposed to Cut Legal Immigration in Half

Two republican senators recently announced a bill that would reduce green cards for permanent legal residents by limiting whom U.S. citizens are permitted to sponsor. If signed into law, this legislation would end the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery for countries that have few American immigrants, reduce the number of refugees allowed in the U.S., and cut legal immigration in half.

The measure is being called The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, and would allow sponsorship for only immediate family members of immigrants, excluding adult siblings and adult children. Parents are also said to be excluded unless they are seriously ill and the family could promise not to rely on public benefits for their care. Foreigners admitted to the U.S. on visas specifically tied to their employment would not be affected by the proposed measure.

The reasoning behind the proposed bill is based primarily on the impact of immigration on U.S. workers and the supposed “downward pressure” that is inflicted on blue-collar workers by immigrants filling U.S. jobs. The bill is said to prospectively reduce the number of green cards issued annually from 1 million to 500,000 in an apparent effort to improve the quality of American blue-collar jobs and wages.

This proposal to slash legal immigration has come amid President Donald Trumps recent immigration battle over his travel ban on refugees and individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries. While it is still unclear as to when the bill will be up for a vote, any measures would still need Democratic support before advancing in the Senate, and Democrats are strongly opposed.