President Donald Trump, along with U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), announced a major immigration reform package on Wednesday.
The announcement, which was made from the White House, also included U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK).
Trump, Perdue and Cotton announced the adoption of the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act.
All three called the legislation the most significant immigration reform in 50 years.
“President Trump campaigned on growing our economy and fixing our immigration system,” said Perdue. “Right now, our current immigration system does not meet the needs of our economy. We want to welcome talented individuals from around the world who wish to come to the United States legally to work and make a better life for themselves.
"The RAISE Act will create a skills-based system that is more responsive to the needs of our economy and preserves the quality of jobs available to American workers.”
According to Perdue and Cotton, the RAISE Act would:
- Replace the current permanent employment-visa system with a skills-based points system, akin to the systems used by Canada and Australia. The system would prioritize those immigrants who are best positioned to succeed in the United States and expand the economy. Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.
- Retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members.
- Eliminate the diversity visa lottery.
- Limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average.