Ep. 15: The RAISE Act Pt. 1

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Episode Description

I discuss Section Two of Senate Bill 354, the “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act” or the “Raise Act.” This section eliminates the Diversity Visa Program, which was established under the Immigration and Nationality Act. I analyze the details of the Diversity Visa Program, its history, and the arguments for and against it. This episode is useful for anyone curious about how the RAISE Act will alter the United States’ immigration system.

Brief Show Notes

According to RealClearPolitics, an eighth of the electorate said immigration was the most important issue in the 2016 election. Of that proportion, 64% voted for Donald Trump.

In the last episode of Bills I interviewed Arpit Chaturvedi, the editor-in-chief of the Cornell Policy Review. This next week I’m scheduled to interview Bart Myers, the founder and CEO of Countable.  Be sure to head over to iTunes and leave a five-star review!

The Diversity Visa Program

Senate Bill 354: The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act or the RAISE Act. The stated purpose is, “To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program, to limit the President’s discretion in setting the number of refugees admitted annually to the United States, to reduce the number of family-sponsored immigrants, to create a new nonimmigrant classification for the parents of adult United States citizens, and for other purposes.”

The Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, was established by the Immigration Act of 1990. It opens up 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to countries who have had less than 50,000 immigrants come to the US in the last five years.

The applicant pool is steadily increasing. The number up to 23 million in 2018, from 19 million in 2017.

There have been multiple attempts to abolish the program. In 2005 the house passed a bill to eliminate the program. In March 2007 there was another bill proposed to do the same, and in June 2007 both houses passed a bill to eliminate the funding for the program. However, the final law did not include these cuts. In 2009, there was a failed attempt to double the number of visas to 110,000.

Additionally, reports of fraud from NewsWorks.org and the US Governmental Accountability Office. Critics have pointed to potential threats to national security. For example, in 2002 an Egyptian immigrant, in the country because of the program, killed two in an act of terror at LAX.

A 2007 report by the Governmental Accountability Office found that 9,800 persons had immigrated through the Diversity Visa Program from countries classified as state-sponsors of terrorism.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program allows entrepreneurs to apply for a resident visa if they make a $1 million dollar investment into the US and plan to create ten permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers. 80% of the immigrant investors come from China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Only 3,463 EB-5 Visas were granted in 2015.

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Previous Episodes

Bills Ep. 14: Arpit Chaturvedi (Pt. 2)

Bills Ep. 13: Arpit Chaturvedi, Editor-in-Chief of the Cornell Policy Review (Pt. 1)

Bills Ep. 12: Timothy Buck, Co-Founder of Read A Bill

Bills Ep. 11: Privacy and Police Body Cameras Part Two

Bills Ep. 10: Privacy and Police Body Cameras Part One

Bill Ep 9: The Campus Free Speech Act Part 2

Bills Ep. 8: A doctor’s perspective on school start times

Bills Ep. 7: Giving Kids the Chance to Dream with Irena Keller

About Luke Scorziell

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Mr. Scorziell created The Edge of Ideas when he was 15 years old. After a few years of blogging he found a passion for podcasting and now regularly has guests on his show, Bills with Luke Scorziell. Find out more about Luke and his unique journey. Feel free to send Luke a message below.


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