Senators Perdue, Cotton, Hawley Re-Introduce the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) today re-introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a bill that would spur continued economic growth and raise working Americans' wages by giving priority to the best-skilled immigrants from around the world.

The RAISE Act is supported by President Trump and has been described by the White House as a bill that "will create a merit-based immigration system that protects our workers, our taxpayers, and our economy."

"Our current immigration system is broken and is not meeting the needs of our growing economy,” said Senator Perdue. “If we want to continue to be the global economic leader, we have to welcome the best and brightest from around the world who wish to come to the United States legally to work and make a better life for themselves. This will require a skills-based immigration system that is pro-growth and pro-worker. The RAISE Act is proven to work and is still the only plan that responds to the needs of our economy, while preserving quality jobs and wages for American workers.”

"I'm proud to reintroduce the RAISE Act supported by the White House,” said Senator Cotton. “For decades, our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our country and has harmed the livelihoods of working-class Americans. 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.”

"We need an immigration system that puts American workers first,” said Senator Hawley. “Our broken immigration policies hurt hardworking Americans and the talented individuals who are stuck in line, waiting to contribute to our country. With the RAISE Act, the United States can finally end chain migration and move to a merit-based system. All Americans deserve rising wages, a growing economy, and an equal shot at the American Dream.”

Specifically, the RAISE Act would:

  • Establish a Skills-Based Points System. 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.
  • Prioritize Immediate Family Households. The RAISE Act would 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 Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery. The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even promote diversity. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery.
  • Place a Responsible Limit on Permanent Residency for Refugees. The RAISE Act would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average.

Click here to read the full text of the legislation.