Today I voted in favor of fixing our broken immigration system and keeping families together. I am disappointed that the Securing Americas Future Act failed to pass. Congress is failing in its responsibility to provide a long-term solution that will fix both our illegal border crossings and our broken visa system. As I have repeatedly stated, we must protect U.S. citizens and secure our porous borders. These are primary responsibilities of the federal government. About one-half of all people in the United States illegally right now came via our visa system, then overstayed. Although we were not successful in passing H.R. 4760 today, I will continue to be a strong advocate for securing our border and fixing our visa system.
Background on the Securing Americas Future Act –
- Only 1 out of every 15 immigrants come to the U.S. because of their skills, and we do not prioritize the ultra-high skilled immigrants who spur innovation, create jobs, and make America more competitive.
- Act would have replaced current permanent employment-visa framework with a skills-based points system. Applicants earn points based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.
- Act would have kept immigration preferences for spouses and minor children of U.S. residents. It would have eliminated preferences for extended family and grown adult family members. For U.S. citizens who need to bring elderly parents to the United States for caretaking purposes, the bill created a renewable temporary visa for such parents.
- Act would have eliminated the outdated Diversity Visa Lottery.
- Act would have limited refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 per year, in line with a 13-year average.
- Act would have mandated E-Verify.
- Act would have kept families intact during immigration process.