The Trump Administration has thrown its support behind a bill that would reform the Green Card system, help disadvantaged African-Americans and liberals are up in arms again.
The merit-based immigration bill, called Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment or RAISE, is modeled after similar policies used in Canada, Australia and other countries. The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, would correct decades of the current Green Card system’s unintended consequences that have negatively impacted unskilled workers, particularly African-Americans.
Still, liberals and left-leaning media outlets have once again flipped the “resist and obstruct” switch. The Miami Herald, for example dubbed the policy proposal “Make America White Again,” hurling the usual insults that President Trump is a “white supremacist.”
Unfortunately for the rabid left, the common-sense measure would start to turn the tide for disenfranchised African-Americans.
What’s Wrong with The Green Card System?
The current legal immigration program allows up to 1 million people into the country each year. On its face, there’s nothing particularly problematic about other than the number should be reduced during tough economic and periods of high unemployment. What hurts the most vulnerable American workers is the methods by which Green Card recipients are selected and what happens after they arrive in the United States.
Unlike countries like Australia and Canada, U.S. immigration policy does not focus on the brightest and the best. It literally favors the “tired, poor, huddled masses” that often don’t bring highly valued skills into the workforce. The “Diversity Visa Program” aspect sees millions of the world’s poor throw their name into a lottery hat to win a golden ticket to America.
Under this lottery system, new arrivals compete for unskilled labor positions currently held by American citizens – particularly the lower class, which includes many naturalized racial minorities. The influx of people willing to work for lower pay has resulted in stagnated wages and pushed out Americans without a college education. The overly populated unskilled labor pool creates a simple supply and demand problem.
With an abundance of willing low-pay workers available, wages stagnate and decline. In today’s job market, approximately 7.4 percent of African-Americans are unemployed, nearly double the rates of whites and Asians.
Sadly, African-Americans still significantly lag behind other ethnic groups in high school diplomas and college degrees, according to the National Education Association. Unemployment for people without a high school diploma runs about 7 percent nationally. Those numbers are a stark contrast to the 16-year low joblessness number of 4.3 percent.
But it’s not just the immigrants that win the so-called Green Card lottery that endanger American workers. The flawed system allows “chain migration” that swells immigrant ranks exponentially.
Every person who gets a Green Card becomes entitled to “reunify” their family once in the United States. Under the current program, that benefit extends well beyond spouses and children. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even cousins could use the initial Green Card holder as an anchor and get into America lawfully.
Studies show that every legal immigrant becomes the sponsor for 3.45 others. That means the million Green Card winners are really 3.45 million each year. Keep in mind, these extended family members are generally unskilled workers as well. All of this usurps the jobs from disadvantaged African-Americans.
What RAISE Act Does
The RAISE Act will be under consideration in Congress this year. It puts a variety of merit-based standards in place that steer the immigration pool away from unskilled labor, and places an emphasis on highly educated and uniquely skilled applicants. Here’s what it calls for:
• Cuts Green Cards from 1 million to 500,000 annually
• Prioritizes English-speaking people for assimilation
• Reunification (chain migration) limited to immediate family members only
• Removes lottery and implements merit-based points system
• Reduces refugees from 110,000 to 50,000
The more competitive points system credits applicants who have college or advanced degrees, invest wealth into the U.S. economy, have attained athletic, artistic and other achievements. In other words, the policy change would prioritize people who help “raise” the country’s economic bar, not steal American jobs.
The United States has a long history of economically disadvantaging African-Americans. Current Green Card immigration policies worsen the struggle to overcome economic hardship and provide a better life for the next generation.
Perhaps the question for the left is: will they continue failed policies that hurt African-Americans, or join Conservatives who are putting Americans first?
~ Liberty Planet