Can ‘Raise Act’ Make Immigration Work For America Again?
Investor’s Business Daily
August 3, 2017
Immigration: President Trump’s backing of a proposed Senate immigration reform bill isn’t an attack on immigrants, as you might have heard, but a reasoned return to policy sanity.
Today, because of the confusion on our border and a nonsensical policy based on “diversity” and family criteria, U.S. immigration policy no longer serves the American people to do what it should: Bring in the best and the brightest who can immediately fit in and contribute to our extraordinarily advanced economy.
Sadly, today our immigration policy seems directed at the exact opposite, bringing in millions of people who don’t speak English, have no First World skills or education, and are almost certain to end up on welfare. Our policy of tolerating illegal immigration has likewise been a disaster, with estimates for those here illegally ranging from 12 million to as many as 30 million.
The new law, dubbed the “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act,” or the “Raise Act,” focuses on the legal side of the immigration equation. Right now, our system for handing out green cards makes no sense.
Britain, Canada and Australia have all moved to a point-based system and had success. No reason that can’t be the case here, too.
1965’s Teddy Kennedy-authored immigration reform — which destroyed the U.S.’ old system in favor of the current family-based immigration law — led to a surge of poor immigrants. We let in too many people who shouldn’t be here, and kept out too many who should.
While economists largely agree that immigration is overall a net benefit, low-skilled immigration has a devastating impact on U.S. minority communities, pushing down wages and job opportunities for unskilled and untrained American workers.
The Raise Act will work in tandem with Trump’s other policies on reducing illegal immigration, including cracking down on the illegal Sanctuary City movement, deporting illegal aliens who commit crimes, and turning away more illegal entrants at the border.
By focusing on letting in mostly those who are highly qualified to work in our high-tech economy, and keeping out those who shouldn’t be here, the pressure at the low end of the labor force should be eased.
We have always supported immigration as good for the U.S. We still do. And we’d like to see even more high-skilled immigration, if possible, as we’ve argued before. This new policy, along with the others pursued by the Trump administration, isn’t perfect. But it goes a long way toward fixing an immigration system that has been broken for decades.