General News

Belize Handed Advantage in New Immigration Bill as President Trump Backs RAISE Act

WASHINGTON — Citizens of Belize and 6 other English speaking countries have been favored heavily by a new immigration bill Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE Act) which has received blessings of President Trump’s administration.

The new bill specifically exempt Belizeans from restrictions on legal immigration which RAISE Act seeks to regulate within the next 10 years. It however allotted 100,000 Green Card slots annually for citizens of exempted countries who seek to migrate to the United States under the new Act.

On Wednesday afternoon, President Trump unveiled the RAISE Act, an immigration bill aimed at reducing legal immigration overall, and give priority to English-speaking applicants. The new Republican bill, co-authored by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and Louisiana senator David Perdue, could ultimately result in a 50 percent reduction in legal immigration on a yearly basis, according to The Washington Post, from roughly 1 million new green card holders per year to roughly 500,000 per year.

The RAISE Act would be a major overhaul of America’s system for legal immigration, transitioning it to a more-strident screening process that would grant favoritism to English-speakers with the ability to support themselves financially.

  • The RAISE Act replaces the current permanent employment-visa framework with a skills-based system that rewards applicants based on their individual merits.
    • The system rewards education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, past achievements, and entrepreneurial initiative.
    • This system is similar to the merit-based immigration systems used by Canada and Australia.
  • The RAISE Act reduces overall immigration numbers to limit low-skilled and unskilled labor entering the United States.
  • The RAISE Act prioritizes immediate family members of United States residents, including spouses and minor children, but ends preferences for extended family members and adult children.
    • United States citizens needing to take care of elderly parents can receive renewable, temporary visas for them.
  • The RAISE Act eliminates the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.
  • The RAISE Act limits permanent resident status for refugees to 50,000 a year, in line with the 13-year average.

It would also, according to Trump, prohibit recently-arrived legal immigrants ― green card holders, in other words ― from receiving welfare. In other words, it would bar them from receiving a crucial underpinning of the social safety-net, despite being legal immigrants, expected to pay into the state and federal tax system. Trump announced his support for the RAISE Act at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, alongside Cotton and Perdue, throwing his weight behind what he called a “merit-based” system.


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