The Washington Post’s David Nakamura provides details on Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.)’s new bill entitled “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment [RAISE] Act”.
In a nutshell, the new bill: a) Focuses on “Merit Based” Green Cards through a Canadian style points system b) Does away with the 50K Diversity Lottery green cards, c) Caps Refugee cases to 50K a year, d) Limits or does away with Family Based Immigration for “Extended Relatives” including adult children and siblings of US Citizens (termed “Chain Migration”), and d) Reduces the total number of Green Card issued annually by about half.
Controversial STEM Jobs Act Proposes to transfer 55,000 visas from Diversity Visa Lottery to Masters and Ph.D. Graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
The controversial H.R. 6429, otherwise known as the “STEM Jobs Act” (Rep. Smith, R-TX & 68 cosponsors) proposes to create new “V” visa categories for families awaiting reunification as well as visas for Ph.D and Masters graduates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Act would, however, eliminate the (poorly implemented) Diversity Visa Lottery program that makes green cards available to certain individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The STEM Jobs Act has made it through the House, but will be almost certainly defeated in the Senate, where Democrats hold both a majority and a soft spot for the Lottery.
The White House, despite having repeatedly highlighted the substantial deficiency the nation faces in the STEM fields, has quickly declared its opposition to the STEM Jobs Act, indicating that it “does not support narrowly tailored proposals that do not meet the President’s long-term objectives with respect to comprehensive immigration reform.” In other words, the Administration wants immigration reform on an ‘all or nothing’ basis. This is more than a little puzzling given that during the latest election cycle, President Obama repeatedly raised the issue of the many difficult decisions necessitated in the short-term so as to invigorate the U.S. economy. This is not one of those difficult decisions.