Proposed Immigration Bill Causes Concern Among Immigration Advocates

President Trump

President Donald Trump supports a bill that would reduce the number of low-skilled immigrants from obtaining permanent residency in the U.S. The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act gives preference to immigrants who can succeed in this country because they have good English language skills and a college degree, a job offer, or they have plans to start a business. Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Tom Perdue of Georgia say this bill show compassion towards working -class Americans, but Democratic leaders say this bill will have a negative effect on California and the nation.

Under the RAISE Act, people who are legal residents of the U.S. can sponsor a spouse and their minor children who want to immigrate to the U.S., but siblings, parents, and adult children of a legal U.S. resident cannot be sponsored. The RAISE ACT reduces the number of refugees that are allowed into this country from 85,000 to 50,000. It also eliminates a program that provides 50,000 green cards to immigrants from African nations and other underrepresented countries.

The latest figures from 2015 shows over 200,000 people in California received permanent legal residency status. One-fifth of all green cards issued in the U.S. were in California, and 64% of green card recipients in the U.S. entered the country through family sponsorships. Some are concerned about how the RAISE Act will affect families, demographics, and industries in California, and California Democrats Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi will fight to oppose this bill.

Santa Clara University law professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram and others believe the goal of the bill is to reduce California’s ethnic and racial diversity. Senator Feinstein and Congresswoman Pelosi say this bill is hateful, anti-immigrant, and it does nothing to fix the broken immigration system, but supporters of the RAISE Act have a different view. President Trump and Senators Cotton and Perdue said the purpose of the bill is to put the needs of the American worker first by creating a smarter and fairer immigration system. Instead of trying to change the racial makeup of immigrants, supporters of the RAISE Act wants immigrants to be in a position to succeed in this country.


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