In early August, President Trump voiced support for a bill introduced earlier this year by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) to effectively overhaul the current immigration system. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act has similarities to other points-based immigration systems, such as those in Canada, Australia, or the newly implemented system in China. The RAISE Act is “merit-based,” focusing heavily on advanced-level, skills-based employment and education (with financial investments also a consideration), and a significant reduction in family-based qualifiers.
Under the proposed system, points would be given for criteria such as age, education level, English proficiency, the existence of a job offer and the level of salary offered, and large-sum investment prospects of $1.35 million or more. Other select criteria include having received a Nobel Prize, Olympic medal, or other major international award. Family derivatives would be limited to spouses and minor children, eliminating green card options for extended family members and adult children. Importantly, applicants currently in line for a green card under the categories eliminated by the RAISE Act would only be grandfathered in if entry into the U.S. is scheduled to occur within one year of enactment of the RAISE Act.
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