On Aug. 2, President Donald J. Trump announced his support for S. 354, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act.

The bill, which was introduced in February by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), addresses the number of green cards issued each year and creates a merit-based immigration system that replaces the current permanent employment visa framework.

According to a White House press release, the RAISE Act rewards applicants based on their individual merits; specifically, the system rewards education level, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, past achievements, and entrepreneurial initiative.
Additionally, the RAISE Act would reduce the yearly number of legal immigrants into the U.S. by approximately 50 percent over 10 years. Currently, the U.S. admits roughly 1 million legal immigrants into the country each year.

The bill also addresses the number of refugees granted permanent residency in the United States. According to a press release issued by Sen. Cotton, the RAISE Act would cap the number of refugees offered residency at 50,000 annually, a number in line with a 13-year average.

S. 354 was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, with no set date for a vote on the bill. ABC will continue to provide updates on the status of the RAISE Act in Newsline.