The RAISE Act, as the name suggests is one among the many steps the Trump administration is undertaking to curb foreign immigration and “Reforming the American Immigration for a Strong Economy”. This would discourage immigrants from coming through existing channels and make it much tougher for ones who would like to stay on a Green card.
The intention is to reduce the onslaught of legal immigration into the United States by 50% in the next ten years. This translates to bringing the numbers down to 6,37,960 in its first year and to 5,39,958 by its tenth year, from 10,51,031 in 2015. The Act also aims to abolish the annual 50,000 Diversity Visas that ensures diversity among immigrants.
How Does It Affect Family-Based Immigration?
The proposed RAISE Act is targeting the prevalent ‘chain’ immigration that happens when a legal immigrant sponsors his spouse who in turn, sponsors adult children, siblings and then aging parents. Should the act be passed by congress (accept spouses and minor children), they would no longer be allowed to sponsor adult siblings, adult children, and parents. They can however, enter on valid visiting visas provided adequate health insurance is purchased before entering the country.
How Does the Point-Based System Affect Employment-Based Immigration?
Another chapter of the RAISE Act is a point-based system targeting job-base visa holders already in the country and wanting to apply for legal permanent residency. This allots different points based on their age, educational credentials, English-language fluency, and salary offers from U.S. employers to qualify for legitimate migration into the United States. This will help identify immigrants who can support themselves and their immediate families while being able to economically contribute towards the US economy. A total of 1,40,000 employment-based visas is said to be issued yearly to the highest scoring applicant.
Applicants who earn a minimum of 30 points out of 100 would be eligible to file applications for green cards. For instance, being between the group of 18 & 21 earns six points while being between 26 and 31 earns ten points and minors and over 50 earns zero. If the applicant was proficient in English language, he would then get 12 points instead. In order to gain additional points, he would have to display higher proficiency than the average American. A US based advanced degree would earn 13 points, the highest. As will an annual salary of over 1,30,000 which amounts to 200% of the median household salary gets over eight points. Investments of over 1.8 million can get up to 12. The highest bearer is an Olympic winner which gets 15 points. If the applicant desires to bring his spouse, a separate index of points have to be calculated for her.
The RAISE Act submitted to the Senate gives more attributes to each of these points granted and how one can accrue enough to gain admissibility to the United States.