Ideas. Action. Results.

BPC Statement on RAISE Act

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Washington, D.C.– Today, President Trump and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) announced a new version of the RAISE Act, which, while creating a new “merit-based” immigration system, also aims to reduce overall legal immigration to the United States. The following is a statement on the bill from Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center:

“Immigration is a national imperative for the United States, fueling economic growth and supporting our nation’s retirees. The RAISE Act’s goal of reducing legal immigration is a threat to the U.S. economy and would place additional strains on the Social Security system by reducing the size of the labor force.

“As outlined in our report, Immigration: America’s Demographic Edge, and an upcoming BPC report on the U.S. demographic challenge, the U.S. population is aging rapidly. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and above will more than double by 2060, posing significant risks to Social Security, which relies on current workers to support the growing ranks of retirees. A growing labor force—aided by immigration—not only helps to shore up Social Security’s finances, but it also results in greater demand for goods and services, contributes to economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, creates jobs and improves the long-term U.S. economic outlook.

“BPC’s Immigration Task Force has called for broad-based, bipartisan immigration reform that increases the level of employment-based immigration while honoring our tradition of family unification. We hope that Perdue and Cotton will work on such legislation in a bipartisan manner with their colleagues.”

Theresa Cardinal Brown is available for interviews.