Sen. David Perdue Proposes Cutting Legal Immigration in Half
February 15, 2017
(The Hutchinson News) - The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or the RAISE Act, proposed by Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, aims to slash legal immigration levels by 50 percent within 10 years.
“For the last 35, 40 years, we’ve been dealing with immigration as if it had one component, and that’s the illegal issue,” Perdue said at a press conference in Washington. “Today, the RAISE Act raises this point to talk about the legal immigration issues that our country faces.”
In a paper released by Perdue and Cotton, the senators argue the vast majority of legal immigrants are low-skilled or unskilled, which they said creates downward pressure on the wages of working-class, native-born Americans.
“We are taking action to fix some of the shortcomings in our legal immigration system,” Perdue said in a statement. “Returning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages.
”The bill would do this in several ways.First, it would eliminate the diversity lottery. That program uses a lottery to issue 50,000 visas annually to people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.
Perdue said the system is plagued with fraud and does not advance economic or humanitarian interests. The RAISE Act would also limit the number of refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year. The country admitted about 85,000 refugees in 2016, according to the Refugee Processing Center.