Since Donald Trump decided to run for president, there have been two very big issues for his campaign: replacing Obamacare, and enforcing stricter immigration laws. And now, it seems that one of those might actually happen. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act was introduced on Wednesday, but many questions remain. Perhaps most importantly, though, will the RAISE Act pass? It's really anyone's guess at this point.
Obviously, Trump's most notorious campaign promises was to build a literal wall along the United States-Mexico border. And while that issue is something in and of itself, it remains that Trump's stance on immigration is pretty stringent. In June of 2015, Trump said:
When Mexico is sending its people, they're not sending their best... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume are good people.
Clearly, Trump has his own ideas on immigration standards and current procedures — namely, that they aren't good enough. But his latest move shifts the conversation from ideas to actions, and that's actually really important. But, Trump's proposed "merit-based system" won't necessarily become law, with many Democrats in the Senate expected to strongly oppose the legislation. While the RAISE Act already has the support of its co-authors, Republican Senators Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), its contents could prove contentious.
According to a summary of the RAISE Act, one of the bill's biggest goals aims is to reduce "overall immigration by half and rebalancing the system toward employment-based visas and immediate family household members." And while the legislation promises to "retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents," that isn't actually that much of a good thing.
Because unfortunately, the bill would also do away with immigration preferences for those with family already in the United States, including:
Adult parents of U.S. citizens
Adult siblings of U.S. citizens
Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens
Married adult children of U.S. citizens
Unmarried adult children of legal permanent residents
Not exactly welcoming legislation, huh? Technically, though, the bill would need 60 votes from the Senate, and Republicans total only 52 members at the moment. So really, it's pretty unlikely the bill will pass, considering the fact that it would need about eight Democrats to sign on. As The Washington Post puts it,
The bill's prospects are dim in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and would have difficulty getting 60 votes to prevent a filibuster. The legislation is expected to face fierce resistance from congressional Democrats and immigrant rights groups and opposition from business leaders and some moderate Republicans in states with large immigrant populations.
Hopefully, the bill will be dead soon, as it severely limits immigration to the United States, at a time when so many people need refuge from their home countries.