Trump-Backed RAISE Bill to Eliminate Permanent Residency for Parents of Naturalized US Citizens

By Zenny Phuong | August 3, 2017 | 6:20pm EDT
(Image: State Department)

( – The new immigration bill introduced Thursday by President Trump and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) would cut foreign parents out of consideration for unlimited immediate relative visas.

That means those who had gone through the legal immigration system and became naturalized U.S. citizens will no longer have the ability to sponsor their parents for permanent residency in the U.S.

The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, if it becomes law, will instead create a nonimmigrant classification for those parents, should they want to enter the country.

But they would only be allowed to stay for a maximum of 10 years, not permanently as currently allowed by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

According to the bill, the Department of Homeland Security may initially authorize a five-year visa, per a naturalized child’s petition, to allow nonimmigrant parents to enter the country.

They will not be allowed to work or apply for any federal, state or local public benefits during their stay. RAISE will require the petitioning naturalized U.S. citizen – who must be at least 21 years old – to take full financial responsibility for their nonimmigrant parents.

Parents must also show proof that their naturalized child has arranged health insurance for them and that they will not be the ones paying for this coverage.

The same rule would apply if the U.S. citizen decides to further petition the Homeland Security Secretary to allow their parents stay for another five years.

The State Department’s travel site  presently lists parents under the unlimited immediate relative (IR) immigrant visa category, along with spouse, unmarried children under 21, and adopted orphans.

RAISE would also lower the age for immigrant children under this category, to 18.

The bill says the goal is to increase GDP growth and protect or increase the wages of working Americans.

“This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens,” Trump said during the announcement.

“This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families, who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”

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