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Chinese Americans divided on new immigration bill
Published on: 2017-08-08
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btChinese Americans are weighing new immigration policy proposals endorsed by President Donald Trump last week that would reduce the number of people eligible for family visas and cut overall immigration by 50 percent within 10 years.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, sponsored by Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, would give preference to English speakers, educated immigrants, and high-wage earners by unveiling a "merit-based" system.

Many Chinese Americans, who have strong traditional family values, are concerned mostly about the bill's elimination of the prioritization of green cards for adult children and extended family of those already in the states.

"The bill prevents parents from uniting with their children here, and that makes them more vulnerable as they already have difficulties in adapting to the adopted country, this is what I worry about the bill," said Wuchen Yihui, who immigrated to the states four years ago.

Alice could agree no more with Wuchen. The young lady from Los Angeles felt very frustrated with the proposed policy changes.

"I think it's unfair to most people. if the bill is passed by the Congress, it would be difficult for my parents to come, and we can hardly go back to see them often, it's unreasonable," she said.

"I think to a certain degree the grading system is necessary, I can understand that. But the union of families must be considered, which is very, very important. The United States is an immigrant country, it can't be too interest-oriented on all kinds of issues," said a teacher surnamed Chen from Chicago.

The overwhelming majority of Asian immigrants come to the U.S. through the family-based system and those who come to the country on employment-based visas often rely on the family-based system to reunite with other family members.

However the bill would cut family-based immigrant visas to 88,000 each year -- compare that to the 673,000 people who received green cards through the family based system during the 2015 fiscal year alone.

According to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, over one million immigrants were accepted into the United States for legal permanent residency last year; many are low or unskilled workers or working in low-skilled jobs.

More than 50 percent of all immigrant households receive welfare benefits, compared with only 30 percent of native households in the United States that receive welfare benefits, according to the White House.

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