What Is the RAISE Act?

Created in 2017, the RAISE Act is currently being proposed by Republican senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton. Since President Donald J. Trump ran on the promise of curbing immigration, this bill is intended to work toward that goal. If it is approved, this act will cut legal immigration to the United States by 50 percent.

What Is It?

This bill was introduced in the Senate on February 13, 2017. From there, it was referred onward to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. It was updated in early August of 2017 before being announced at the White House. While the bill may have been introduced, it currently does not have good odds of actually being enacted. There are no other co-sponsors added to the bill. In addition to stringent Democratic opposition, Republicans have also stated that Congress will not be voting on immigration in 2017.


President Trump publicly backed a bill that has been discussed for decades. While it was previously sidelined in the mainstream, the proposal has received renewed interest recently. Known as the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, this bill would cap refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. In addition, it would put an end to the visa diversity lottery. The current number of green cards issued each year would be cut by 50 percent.

According to President Trump and his administration, this bill is supposed to give hope the millions who struggle in a stagnant labor market. It targets the family reunification part of the 1965 Immigration Act. In essence, visa preference would only be given to immediate family members in the United States. The immigration system would be based on merit. This would essentially mean that people with better skills or a higher level of education would be given immigration preference. If the bill is successful in all of these areas, it is projected to drop immigration levels to about 540,000 per year.

Supporters and Proponents of the Bill

Anti-immigration groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform have voiced their support for the bill. This proposal basically appeals to Trump’s Republican base. At the same time, it would fulfill some of his campaign promises.

While some of his supporters may approve of the bill, it has been strongly opposed by Democrats and some Republicans. Opponents of the bill have said that it would punish immigrant families and prevent the nation from having real immigration reform. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham previously stated that this bill would be devastating to his state’s economy. The bill has been derided for technology groups for hurting the economy.

Will the Bill Pass?

In the current environment, the RAISE Act will not be enacted. There are too many Republican and Democratic Senators openly against the bill already. Unless something changes, it will never be enacted into law.

While the promise of a new immigration act has been in the works since the 1990s, it does not look like a major change is occurring soon. Trump promised to crack down on immigration, so this bill is intended to work toward that goal. Unless members of the Congress and Senate change their votes, it will not be able to pass.

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