President Trump announced today his support for the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a bill which intends to cut several categories of immigrants to the United States and with the purpose of lowering legal immigration to the United States by 50%.
Part of the President’s speech is available here: “Trump backs plan that would curb legal immigration”
The RAISE Act cuts refugee admissions down to 50,000 a year, and gives the executive branch the power to set the number of people that can be granted asylum in a given year. The act will also eliminate the diversity visa lottery, a program which is intended to award a limited number of visas each year to citizens of countries with historically lower levels of immigration to the U.S.
The Act also amends the types of family members a U.S. citizen can petition to come to the United States as a permanent resident. The Act proposes to no longer list parents of U.S. citizens as immediate family members, but does create a nonimmigrant visa for said parents, with onerous requirements such as providing temporary health coverage.
It will also cut visa numbers for other categories by around 75%.
The Act wraps up by declaring that any petition which was filed for an eliminated visa category will be invalid as of passage of the bill.
The bill does in fact drastically cut legal immigration for family sponsored categories.
However, in reading the Act introduced in February, there is little mention of changing the framework surrounding the employment based categories. It begs the question of whether there will be another Act introduced or if the previously introduced Act will be revised.