RAISE Act’s Multiple Benefits Include Slowing Population Growth

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

August 3, 2017
President Trump at Podium
President Trump, Sens. Cotton and Perdue Introduce Much-Needed RAISE Act.

From the White House yesterday, President Trump enthusiastically praised Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue’s (R-GA) Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act or RAISE Act. The legislation would cut legal immigration totals approximately in half from its annual one million-plus total, eliminate the Diversity Visa which CAPS has long opposed, and reduce refugee resettlement to 50, 000 per year. Currently, resettlement has no statutory limit.

While most of the headlines have focused on how lowering immigration would create a boost for struggling American workers, it would also and importantly slow immigration-fueled population growth.
 
In its 2015 study based on Census Bureau and other federal government data, the Pew Research Center reported that over the next 50 years, new immigrants and their descendants will, as they have for the past half-century, drive most U.S. population growth. Among the projected 441 million Americans in 2065, 78 million will be immigrants and 81 million will be the American-born children to U.S. immigrant parents.

Pew concluded that its “projections are based on assumptions about birth, death and immigration rates that are built on recent trends, but those trends can change.” The RAISE Act, if it passes, would be a population game changer, but it faces an uphill climb.

The bill will require 60 Senate votes, but Republicans only have 52 senators and are unlikely to find any allies---let alone the necessary eight---from opposition Democrats. Still, a vigorous and honest debate about the consequences of autopilot immigration plus public pressure specifically on incumbent Democratic senators seeking 2018 re-election could make a few converts.

The RAISE Act will need all the help it can get from the majority of citizens who want less immigration, and a fair shot for Americans at jobs. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your Senators to support RAISE, and to put Americans first.
 
 
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