'Raise Act' could impact Las Vegas economy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

'Raise Act' could impact Las Vegas economy

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President Donald Trump backed an immigration proposal that looks to cut the number of immigrants getting Visas into the United States. The "RAISE ACT" which stands for reforming immigration for a strong economy prioritizes high-skilled immigrant workers, which the president said Wednesday would make America more competitive. 

"The Raise Act will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. It will do this by changing the way the United States issues green cards to nationals from other countries," President Trump said.

The changes include granting visas on a point based system. The criteria for points would be based on the applicants education level, English speaking ability, age, future salary once in the U.S., investment in the U.S. and achievements. 

While the president said he believes this will help the country, some in the valley said Las Vegas depends on low-skilled immigrant labor. 

"We have some of the best service in the world, and it's hard work but it would fall in this category of unskilled labor. We depend on it," Nevada lawmaker Edgar Flores said

"Eventually we're going to see ourselves in a position where we're asking for more workers and they're not going to be there," Flores added. 

Geoconda Arguello Kline from the Culinary Union agreed. She said she wouldn't have been allowed into the U.S. under the proposal and neither would many of the 57,000 people the union represents. She said that doesn't mean they aren't crucial to the Las Vegas economy. 

"They serving food, they serving drinks, they have skills to serving people to make the industry so successful," she said. 

Flores said his greatest complaint about the Raise Act is that it doesn't address the people, skilled and unskilled, currently working in the United States without documents. 

The proposal would also get rid of welfare for new immigrants and would cut the number of refugees allowed in the country. 

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