Sen. Perdue Introducing Legislation to Reform Immigration

From a press release from Sen. David Perdue (R, GA):

U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) today will introduce the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a bill that would spur economic growth and raise working Americans’ wages by giving priority to the best-skilled immigrants from around the world and reducing overall immigration by half.

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  • Eliminate the Outdated Diversity Visa Lottery.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.

“President Trump campaigned on growing our economy and fixing our immigration system,” said Senator Perdue. “Right now, our current immigration system does not meet the needs of our economy. We want to welcome talented individuals from around the world who wish to come to the United States legally to work and make a better life for themselves. The RAISE Act will create a skills-based system that is more responsive to the needs of our economy and preserves the quality of jobs available to American workers.”

“For decades, our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our economy, and working Americans’ wages have suffered as a result. Our legislation will set things right,” said Senator Cotton. “We will build an immigration system that raises working wages, creates jobs, and gives every American a fair shot at creating wealth, whether your family came over on the Mayflower or just took the oath of citizenship.”

Click here to read the full text of the legislation. Additionally, click here for a section by section summary and here for a fact sheet on the legislation.

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Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I’ll have more thoughts later, but after reading the legislation and the fact sheet produced by Sens. Perdue and Cotton, this law is going to unfairly discriminate against immigrants from poorer countries, particularly those in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
I’m also curious if Sen. Perdue ran this by his cousin. Visa programs are vital for our ag industries in Georgia and across the country. The vast majority of these workers aren’t going to score very highly on the metrics of “English-language ability,” education, or “high-paying job offers.”


Don’t think it will fly in any state that has a large handpicked crop or a any major livestock production. Wisconsin’s dairy farm labor is over 40% immigrates. It’s ALWAYS been a heavy immigrate work force. Even in the late 70’s when I would be at my father’s family farm, there was a number of labors who were from Iron Curtain countries. A few of the older guys were German transplants who were originally WWII POW being held in the state and then returned back in the late 1940’s to live there. If the goal is to have US citizens… Read more »


I don’t know the extent of the problems with the Visa Lottery but perhaps instead of getting rid of it, we could reform it? And the idea that it doesn’t promote humanitarian interests seems to be hogwash. Why would so many people from crushingly poor countries sign up for it if not? If you want to hear an amazing story about one winner of said lottery, see here: “A story about someone who’s desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somali refugee living in Kenya and… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

By the way, this is what happens when you let mediocre intellects like Stephen Miller write policy. Dude has no background or substantive knowledge in economics and his knowledge of US immigration laws are limited to what he’s read on the white nationalist websites and newsletters he’s been reading since high school.