The S.354 bill requires that immigrants speak English; it cancels the diversity visa lottery, reduces refugees to half, questions the asylum program and tightens visa requirements. It seems unlikely that it can be approved by Congress.
The S.354 immigration bill that President Trump recently supported includes significant changes which apply since more than 50 years ago and are regulated by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The bill was promoted by the Trump administration and Republican senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton originally presented it to Senate in February. Nevertheless, it hasn´t gathered enough votes to be approved and it would require support from both parties. The S.354 bill not only changes some concepts included in the Immigration Nationality Act, it also modifies programs that regulate legal immigration to the United States. These are some of the main changes. Visa USA Now recommends you begin your visa procedure before conditions get stricter.
Only immigrants that speak English and that have economic resources
This bill modifies the concept of “immigrant”. In a broad sense, an immigrant is an individual that travels to another country (in this case the USA) with the intention of settling in the country temporarily or permanently. Nevertheless, the Cotton-Perdue bill proposes that an immigrant that enters legally to the USA should have a visa and additionally knows how to speak in English. This individual should also be able to prove that he can subsist financially in the USA during his stay, and significantly contribute to the country.
Diversity visa lottery canceled
The S.354 cancels the diversity visa program or the green card lottery. This program raffles 50.000 green cards every year. Almost 12 million people from all continents apply to this program created by Congress in the year 1990.
Limits refugee program
The limit for refugee visas in the year 2016 (during the Obama administration) was set at a maximum of 85,000, and by 2017 it was expanded to 100,000. The Cotton-Perdue project reduces it to 50,000.
It modifies the asylum program
In 2015 the US government granted 17,878 asylums. 14.4% of those were for Chinese citizens, followed by El Salvador (10,5%), Guatemala (9.6%) and Egypt (8.5%). The S.354 bill requests a reassessment by the Secretary of the Department of Justice, in order to apply some changes to it.
Modifications in the family reunion system
The Cotton-Perdue project modifies the measures governing the request of immediate family members (spouses, children, parents, and siblings) by citizens and permanent legal residents of the US. So far, citizens can request a green card for immediate family members, and residents are governed by a system of quotas and preferences regulated by the Visa Bulletin. The new plan changes the requirements; it does not alter the request of spouses and minors by citizens but leaves out the request of parents and siblings by residents, who actually can be claimed to obtain a residence. As for the elderly parents of US citizens who need to be cared for, the plan states that they will be able to receive temporary renewable visas.
Stricter visa requirements
The bill changes the list of requirements to obtain nonimmigrant visas to ensure that the person who enters the United States only stays the authorized time, does not stay any longer than authorized and does not become a public charge.
Limits waivers on grounds of inadmissibility
This bill modifies the regulation that absolves you for reasons of inadmissibility. Foreigners who cannot enter the United States, but can ask for a waiver to obtain a visa -for example, people that were deported- will be vetoed to obtain a legal re-entry authorization.
Stricter requirements for a work visa
It increases the requirements for obtaining a work visa. Foreigners who want to enter the United States must demonstrate qualifications that are higher than current standards, that they earn enough to support themselves and bring significant benefits to the country. The new standards also include non-professional visa programs.
Term for the stay of non-immigrants
It limits the years that nonimmigrant foreigners who enter the United States can stay. It establishes a period of five years, which may be extended only with the approval of the Secretary of National Security.
The Cotton-Perdue plan requires that the foreign relatives of citizens of the US that visit the country can prove that they have a valid medical insurance that covers all health cost during their stay in the country.