As much as health care reform has become a national topic of debate, immigration reform still stands at the forefront of the Trump Administration’s agenda. We have seen it with the debated travel ban and legal challenges that come with it. Now we will probably witness another set of debates after President Trump publicly endorsed legislation that could significantly curtail family based immigration.

According to an ABCNews.com report, the bill entitled the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE) would focus on applicants’ job skills instead of family ties in determining eligibility for permanent resident status (i.e. a green card). The impetus behind the bill is to cut the number of authorized immigrants entering the U.S. each year from 1 million to 500,000.

The bill’s sponsors, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) are reportedly concerned that the current system does not attract enough qualified workers and is putting downward pressure on foreign nationals who want to immigrate for positions that require skilled workers.

The bill ostensibly mirrors the Canadian and Australian immigration systems that award permanent residence status based on demand for the skills and professions needed in those nations. However, some legislators believe that this reasoning does not fall in line with American values. Given the visceral response to the bill’s introduction, it remains to be seen whether it will gain more traction than its predecessor.

If you have questions about family based or employment based immigration or changing your status, an experienced attorney can advise you.