A plan to boost Americans’ wages by reducing the mass flow of legal immigration to the United States has been reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) after earning an endorsement from President Trump in 2017.
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act was originally introduced by Cotton and Perdue during Trump’s first year in office, gaining immediate support from Trump who has long advocated for a national legal immigration policy that benefits American citizens, rather than foreign nationals.
Cotton’s RAISE Act would reduce legal immigration levels by half over the next decade, a plan that would almost guarantee rising wages for American workers in a tightened labor market as business competes for workers.
“[Current legal immigration] policy has placed substantial pressure on American workers, taxpayers, and community resources. Among those hit the hardest in recent years have been immigrants and, very importantly, minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals,” Trump said in 2017. “And it has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, and to our workers.”
The RAISE Act would:
- Create a skills-based points system, similar to the processes used by Canada and Australia to prioritize legal immigrants who can most easily assimilate to American life.
- End chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens have been allowed to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. Newly naturalized citizens would still be able to sponsor their spouses and minor children for a green card.
- Eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery, whereby more than 50,000 visas every year are given to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries with little-to-no standards. The countries include those with terrorist problems, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
- Reduce annual refugee resettlement to a maximum 50,000 foreign nationals every year, in line with sustainable and historical levels.
Cotton said the RAISE Act is designed specifically to benefit America’s working and middle class who have been unjustly impacted by current legal immigration levels, displacing them from jobs, driving down their wages, and redistributing their wealth to the country’s top earners.
“For decades, our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our country and has harmed the livelihoods of working-class Americans,” Cotton said. “The RAISE Act would build an immigration system that increases working-class wages, creates jobs, and gives every citizen a fair shot at achieving the American Dream, no matter whether their family came over on the Mayflower or just took the Oath of Allegiance.”
The wage-boosting plan is a revival of former Democrat congresswoman and Civil Rights icon Barbara Jordan’s recommendations for a national legal immigration policy in the 1990s, when she blasted the admittance of more than a million mostly low-skilled foreign nationals every year specifically because of its impact on black Americans.
Jordan said in 1995;
When immigrants are less-educated and less-skilled, they may pose economic hardships for the most vulnerable of Americans, particularly for those who are unemployed or underemployed. The Commission sees no justification for the continued entry of unskilled foreign workers unless the rationale for their admission otherwise serves a significant national interest, as does the admission of nuclear family members and refugees.
Chain migration, which the RAISE Act would end, has been used to import entire foreign villages to the U.S., as noted by the New York Times. Since 2005, 9.3 million foreign nationals have been able to resettle in the U.S. through chain migration. This huge inflow outpaces two years of American births, which amounts to roughly four million babies every year.
The number of extended-family foreign nationals who have resettled in the U.S. in the last decade is greater than the total combined population of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Cleveland.
At current legal immigration levels, the U.S. is on track to import about 15 million new foreign-born voters in the next two decades — the vast majority of which are likely to vote for Democrats, research by Axios, the New York Times, and Ronald Brownstein has revealed. Those 15 million new foreign-born voters include about eight million who will arrive in the country through chain migration.
The reduction of legal immigration levels would almost certainly not only boost wages for America’s working and middle class at a quicker pace than current trends, but also relieve labor market pressure, ensuring that U.S. workers are not forced to compete a never-ending flow of cheaper, foreign workers.
Every year, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 million foreign nationals, with more than 70 percent arriving through chain migration. In 2017, the foreign-born population reached a record high of 44.5 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.