RAISE Act on Planet Trump- 20 Red Flags Every Indian Must Know, Via Top Immigration Lawyer Cyrus Mehta
Concerns over the attempts to do away with the current DV- Lottery program and to replace it, instead with a merit based system are on the rise. US Immigration lawyer, Cyrus Mehta looked at the effects that the Act, dubbed, Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act will have on immigrants, and specifically on Indians hoping to migrate to the United States.
First, the bill if passed into law would definitely change the philosophical grounds of immigration to the United States. Currently the country is considered a land of greener pastures, where people move to achieve their dreams. The RAISE Act will, however, make it impossible for dreamers to move to the US.
The Act does not consider family unification an important factor in moving to the United States. Instead, individual skills are given more consideration. The Act will only consider spouses of US Citizens and green card holders due to the cut in the annual quota to 88,000 spouses and children from 400,00.
English is given priority. English will be one of the tests taken before one is eligible to move to the US. Currently, immigrants do not need to take and pass an English test before moving to the US, this is bound to change should the RAISE Act be passed.
An important amendment in the RAISE Act is that it does away with the DV- Lottery program, a program that has, for numerous years, made it possible for immigrants to move to the United States. The effect of the Act is that it will create a backlog in the visa processing. Applicants whose applications are pending would be forced to make fresh applications which will be processed at the same time with new applicants. The system is thus bound to be swarmed.
Children are still allowed to immigrate with their parents. However, the age limit has been changed from 21 years to 18 years. This means that children over 18 years old will not be allowed to immigrate with their parents unless they can prove that there are their parent’s dependants.
Immigrants who apply for their parents to move with them to the United States will have to consider other welfare options for their parents. Currently, parents of green card holders are allowed to move to the US and to benefit from the welfare system. This changes under the Act which allows parents “W” visas. These allow them to live in the US for five years only and deny them any welfare benefits including Medicaid.
Mehta is however, skeptical that the bill will pass into law. Among the factors making it unlikely for the bill to pass is the fact that it can only be passed by a super majority.