WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein while hailing the introduction of the "Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a bill that would take the first crucial step in moving the immigrant selection process to a more merit-based system while returning immigration to more historic levels. The bill is sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Purdue (R-GA).
"We applaud Senators Cotton and Purdue for recognizing the complete dysfunction of our current immigration policy and taking a giant step toward putting this nation back on the right track in modernizing and injecting fairness and individual merit back into the immigrant selection process.
"America's outdated immigration policies are a relic of the 1960s that fail to serve the national interest and are fundamentally unfair. For far too long, America's immigration policies have been based primarily on nepotism, offering the lion's share of highly-coveted U.S. green cards to those with extended family ties in the U.S., without regard to their level of education, skills or ability to compete and contribute to our modern economy. Choosing immigrants based on family ties in the U.S. has proven to be a very poor predictor of their ability to succeed and thrive in today's modern, competitive, high-tech and highly-skilled America.
"The RAISE Act takes the first crucial steps to reform this antiquated selection process, reduce extended family chain migration, while insuring that nuclear families are kept in-tact. The bill would move the nation toward a healthier skills- and merit-based immigrant selection process. It also recognizes that our current mass immigration policies are out of sync with the needs and realities of the nation, and returns immigration flows to a more traditional level. Specifically, the bill would:
- Prioritize admissions of spouses and children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, while eliminating visas for distant relatives.
- Creates the temporary, but renewable visas for parents in need of caregiving by family in U.S.
- Eliminates the visa lottery.
- Places a cap of 50,000 on refugee admissions.
- Would lower overall immigration levels to an estimated 539,000 per year in one decade, roughly half the current flow and squarely in line with the levels recommended by the bipartisan Jordan Commission and endorsed by President Clinton.
"First and foremost, immigration should serve the national interest. For decades, our immigration policies have been on auto-pilot, importing nearly one million people every year, regardless of the economic conditions or level of unemployment in the U.S. As a result, American workers have been displaced and the social service network in many communities has been stretched to the limit.
"The RAISE Act hits the reset button on U.S. immigration policy and ensures the nation maintains its rich immigrant legacy while selecting immigrants capable of achieving their American dream."
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 1.3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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