The last bipartisan commission for immigration reform, chaired by the civil rights icon Barbara Jordan, recommended ending chain migration and the visa lottery to protect vulnerable American workers and their wages. Sen. Tom Cotton has legislation, S. 354, that would make those recommendations a reality. I urge you to cosponsor this bill and support an immigration system that serves the interest of all Americans.

American workers are continuing to leave the labor force in record numbers, with many of these being less educated and lower-skilled Americans. Chain migration allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. without regard to their education or skills. Because a disproportionately high number of these new workers are less-educated or lower skilled, they compete directly against America’s most vulnerable workers, lowering wages and making it more difficult to find work.

Wages for Americans with only a high school diploma have declined 2% (in real terms) since the late 1970s, and they have declined by nearly 20% for Americans who didn’t finish high school. This has led to a collapse in working class America and has made it much more difficult for the American dream to be fulfilled.

Ending chain migration by limiting family-based immigration to spouses and minor children would drastically reduce the pool of lower-skilled workers, leading to increased wages and improving job prospects for those Americans most in need of our help. The RAISE Act, S. 354, would also end the visa lottery, which lets in 50,000 new foreign workers each year without regard to their skills or ability to provide for themselves.

The Jordan Commission concluded that immigration must serve the national interest. Specifically, the commission concluded that high immigration numbers would harm less-educated Americans and that chain migration needed to be ended to prevent this from happening. I urge you to follow the recommendations of the commission and help less-educated and lower-skilled Americans by cosponsoring Sen. Cotton’s legislation, S. 354.

Phone me if you would like to talk about this.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA

P.S. American citizens must be the priority, not immigrants, and certainly not refugees.