The Cotton-Perdue bill calls for eliminating “visa lottery,” limiting number of green cards toÂ refugees.
Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) on Tuesday proposed a bill to cut the level of immigrants to the United States by half.
The GOP senators have proposed the “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment, or RAISE Act,” saying that they wantÂ â€œrational changesâ€ to legal immigration.
The RAISE Act would lower overall immigration to 637,960 in its first year and to 539,958 by its tenth year â€“ a 50 percent reduction from the 1,051,031 immigrants who arrived in 2015, according to their joint news media statement.
â€œWe are taking action to fix some of the shortcomings in our legal immigration system,â€ Sen. Perdue said.Â â€œReturning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages.â€
Both the senators said that the proposed changes are necessary to bring America back on track.
â€œItâ€™s time our immigration system started working for American workers,â€ Sen. Cotton said. â€œThe RAISE Act would promote higher wages on which all working Americans can build a future â€“ whether your family came over here on the Mayflower or you just took the oath of citizenship.â€
The RAISE Act has proposed the following changes:
Prioritize Immediate Family Households.Â The RAISE Act would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of US citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members.
Eliminate OutdatedÂ Visa Lottery. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.
Place 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 proposed Act received mixed responses. Some groups have come out in favor while others have criticized it as un-American.
Analysts anticipate a longer waiting period for green card aspirants, if RAISE Act is passed.Â The current waiting period for a US green card is 10 to 15 years.