Talk about a bipartisan treasure that will never be. S.354, the RAISE Act is the kind of forward-thinking bill Barack Obama always promised us. Now the job falls to Donald Trump to bring immigrants to this country who will start businesses, create jobs, and jump start new prosperity.
We don’t need the dumb and the penniless. They can stay home. We only want the cream of the crop.
RAISE Act should be cheered by Democrats
Did everyone forget S.565, the Startup Visa Act? This was a 2011 bill to boost alien entrepreneurship. It was a big slap to America’s face, but we were desperate for work in those post-recession days. If foreigners fit the bill for job creation we wanted them here.
Flash forward to 2017.
It’s been one day and we are already pissed off about the RAISE Act. Why? Republicans get what they want: prosperity. They can also draw the gates a little closer together, though to be fair this is about legal immigrants and not the kind that are a thorn in our side. It certainly cuts down on our refugee problem, something we aren’t really prepared to handle despite all the pro-Muslim propaganda.
Democrats get what they want, too. Once and for all they will have proof that immigrants are smarter than we are. RAISE Act prosperity will finally make Obama’s promise come true.
Highly skilled: we want that
“Highly skilled” was an Obama favorite, whether we were talking STEM education or visas. It was part of his 21st century immigration system that boasted a potential $90 billion – $210 billion jump in our GDP. That’s a pretty wide spread. How did he plan to achieve it?
Many of these economic benefits spring from the President’s actions to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy.”1
President Trump likes the idea, too. He worries that:
Our system does not prioritize the most highly skilled immigrants—just 1 out of every 15 immigrants to the United States comes here because of their skills.2
The RAISE Act recognizes that and does even more:
The RAISE Act — R-A-I-S-E — the RAISE Act will reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.3
So what does that mean? We bring the smart, talented ones over. Who cares about the rest? This is about economic prosperity, not spreading the wealth.
Except for one small detail.
One small glitch: unskilled labor
Putting American workers first is a problem for liberals. We have so much. The rest of the world has so little. If immigrants want to come over the border to work illegally, who are we to say it’s not their right? We believe this so fervently that we quake in fear at the thought of losing our unskilled immigrant workers, which helps us overlook some of the terrible things the illegal ones do and the costs they impose on taxpayers.
The big problem with how we usually think about fixing immigration is that we believe we are duty-bound to be fair to people we don’t have to be fair to. Cutting back legal immigration by being more selective runs against everything the left dupes us into believing.
The left and a few Republicans, too.
Senator Lindsey Graham put on his Democrat hat and objected to S.354 because the blow to the legal immigration numbers would cost jobs Americans don’t want.4 No doubt more like him will follow, terrified of the political fallout from back home if low-cost workers aren’t permitted in.
That reliance on unskilled labor and the fear that America’s economy will crash and burn without cheap foreign labor helps sustain our immigration problems. That’s where policies like requiring benefits recipients to work make sense.
RAISE Act is the best excuse to raise the minimum wage
Funding innovation that helps reduce our reliance on those who bring little value to the economy makes a big difference, too. That’s the best argument for raising the minimum wage to unsupportable levels. When we do that, businesses find other ways to get cheap jobs done.
What’s the solution? Bring over more Einsteins. Maybe they can figure out a way to wash our hands of the foreign workers we don’t really need.
1. Zients, Jeffrey. “Taking Action to Attract High-Skilled Immigrants, Graduates, and Entrepreneurs.” The White House. President Barack Obama. November 25, 2014. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2014/11/25/taking-action-attract-high-skilled-immigrants-graduates-and-entrepreneurs, retrieved August 2, 2017.
2. “President Donald J. Trump Backs RAISE Act.” The White House. August 2, 2017. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/08/02/president-donald-j-trump-backs-raise-act, retrieved August 2, 2017.
3. “Remarks by President Trump, Senator Tom Cotton, and Senator David Perdue on the RAISE Act and Green Card Reform.” The White House. August 2, 2017. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/08/02/remarks-president-trump-senator-tom-cotton-and-senator-david-perdue, retrieved August 3, 2017.
4. “Graham on Proposal to Restrict Legal Immigration.” Lindsey Graham. August 2, 2017. https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=15798377-3BA8-470A-8923-C315EC016C45, retrieved August 2, 2017.
Photo retrieved from: “Albert Einstein, in his own words.” Library of Congress. https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/discoveries/disc_images.jsp?cntn_id=134537&org=NSF, retrieved August 3, 2017.