In preparing to write this post, I did a quick search to what others have said both for and against the RAISE Act. There is a lot of talk, both for and against using imprecise language and made up facts. For example one posting, Everything You Need To Know About The RAISE Act Without Reading It, states “Current U.S. permanent residents can sponsor visas for their children, spouses, parents, grandparents, and other extended family members.” Permanent residents cannot sponsor parents, grandparents, or other extended family members. Before you advocate for or against a position, have an understanding of that position and the effects of the change you are advocating for. This article is also a good example of why you should read things and decide for yourself.
The RAISE Act proposes to do away with the Diversity Visa program which in 2016 brought in 46,718 people. It proposes to reduce refugee visas to 50,000. In 2015 (the most recent final numbers) 69.933 people entered as refugees. This would reduce the total by almost 20,000. My biggest concern is with the restriction of family based cases.
The RAISE Act proposes to do away with the F-2B, F-3 & F-4 categories by changing the definitions to “immediate relative” as the under-21 year old child or spouse of a U.S. citizen, and (2) “family-sponsored immigrant” as the under-21 year old child or spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. This would primarily effect U.S. citizens as the F-3 & F-4 categories require U.S. citizens to petition and F-2B allow Permanent Residence to sponsor. While there is no right to a visa, there is a right to petition the government for the visa. Be cautious of a government that wants to take away your right to lawfully petition for your family.
President Trump’s stated reason for supporting the RAISE Act is: “For decades, low-skilled and unskilled immigration into the United States has surged, depressing wages and harming America’s most vulnerable citizens.” If the RAISE Act went into effect, it would reduce the number of people coming to the United States by 114,666, or about 11%. The unknown are education and skill levels of the people the RAISE act would exclude. As these are from Refugee, Diversity and Family categories, this information is not tracked. Before you advocate for or against a position, have an understanding of that position and the effects of the change you are advocating for. I question the benefit the RAISE Act would have on the economy. I question the restriction of a U.S. citizen to petition for family members where there is no evidence to support the change.
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