Trump administration backs bill halving issuance of green cards

The bill, titled RAISE Act, which has been proposed by?Republican senator Tom Cotton and Democrat David Perdue, has the backing of the Donald Trump administration. Photograph:( Getty )

Washington, DC, United States Feb 08, 2017, 07.34 PM (IST)

The Donald Trump administration might halve the number of green cards or permanent residency that the US issues every year.

At the moment, the current waiting time for a person to get his green card ranges from 10 to 35 years. But if bill goes through, the waiting time could further increase.

The bill, hoever, does not focus on H1-B visas.

If the bill is legislated, only minor children and spouses of permanent card holders could apply for permanent residency.

That would ration the issuance of green cards from the current rate of one million to around 500,000.

The bill, titled RAISE Act, which has been proposed by Republican senator Tom Cotton and Democrat David Perdue, intends to "promote higher wages" for Americans.

“It’s time our immigration system started working for American workers,” Cotton said.

“My bill today would be a first and modest down payment by getting a handle on green cards because we give out a million a year and the vast majority of those are unrelated to unemployment and they let in low-skilled and unskilled workers. That needs to change,” he said in an interview with the far-right website Breitbart News.

This comes days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that banned travellers and refugess from seven Muslim-dominated nations -- Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen -- from entering the country.