Basically, Trump wants to stop bringing in people who don’t have the skills to find jobs. He wants to make sure they have a job offer lined up before they come here and that the job is in a field that is critical to the U.S. economy. For the most part, he’s focusing on STEM jobs.

He also wants to make sure that Americans with the right skills get jobs before an immigrant can get it. That goes for any job, not just STEM. He’s raising the salary requirement for that initial job offer so that companies decide it’s worth it to pay Americans instead.

Foreign Investments

He wants to let in people with at least $1.35 million dollars because he wants to foreigners to invest in America. He wants money to flow into this country and not out. He wants businesses to produce in the United States so that there’s a trade surplus instead of the trade deficit we’ve had for a long time.

He’s talked a lot about American businesses planning to outsource and deciding to change their mind because of him. We’ve also seen that Foxconn is planning to build a plant in Wisconsin. He’s also said that many American companies that already left will come back because his tax plan will causes business taxes to be lower than they are in Canada, Ireland, and others places those companies went. For example, Accenture moved its headquartered to Ireland. Even Apple dodges some taxes by parking profits in Ireland.

Additionally, he wants GDP to go up, and whether you’re an American company or a foreign company, producing here raises our GDP. The GDP equation is as follows: C+G+I+NX. The I stands for “investment,” and Trump’s plan to have companies invest here will help GDP. His plan to give this country a trade surplus will also help GDP because “NX” standards for “net exports,” which would be a positive number if we have a trade surplus. “G” stands for government spending, which he plans to cut dramatically, and “C” stands for consumption, which depends on how much money people spend at the store, how much disposable income they have after taxes and what not. That’s not just money they want to spend–it includes utilities and necessary goods like food–but it also includes that sweet new grill you really want. If you can afford to buy that grill, GDP goes up. If you can’t or if you choose to save because most of don’t have a lot, then GDP doesn’t go up at all.

Government Funding

Trump wants to stop using government funds to support people coming to this country. The RAISE Act eliminates a lot of people that might need affordable housing, healthcare, and typical additional help that you might need when you come here with nothing. Since you could apply to come here in your late 20’s with no education, no job offer, fluent English, and no highschool diploma with a better chance than someone 25 years old with a masters degree in STEM, fluent English and a job offer and $1.35 million with a better chance simply because you have $1.8 million, the government will be less likely to have to pay to keep you from being sick and homeless. That money is supposed to be invested in a new commercial enterprise, but that could turn a profit, and you could withdraw a reasonable salary for yourself and do well.

Save for later: An important part usually not discussed about the GDP equation is that government spending is net of taxation, but don’t freak out…we’ll talk about it later, I swear. So just forget about it for now. If you really wanna see the more weird-looking equation, look below. If not, close your eyes and scroll:

GDP = C + I + (G-T) + (X-M)

For reference, here’s the score of that younger person who has no high school degree but $1.8 million:


International Competitiveness

Trump also wants to ensure that the United States economy is way ahead of any other country. He thinks it’s ridiculous that China is so close to catching up and that other countries are modernizing while we’re growing at a slower pace. He wants this country to look beautiful, which is why he wants $1 trillion dollars for his Infrastructure Plan. Those projects generally go to local workers because you can’t outsource construction.

There has been some talk of bringing foreign workers to rebuild some of our infrastructure in the same way that one state might win a contract to build in a different state, but this time, the workers would come from other countries. It’s more likely that foreign companies would hire American workers than bring their own, and only China would really try hard to bring their own but would still likely be told to shove it. Moreover, Trump will likely be very reticent to allow blue-collar profits to benefit anyone but American companies and American workers, which the exception of any American companies that may have left already and who strike a deal to come back if he lowers taxes and gives them the contract.

He also wants to make sure that the United States is #1 in all industries, especially critical industries. Some of those industries are responsible for chemical engineering, telecommunications, defense, energy, and IT. There are others, but these are the ones that definitely need STEM-trained employees, and Trump would feel more comfortable if those employees were born here so that there isn’t even a hint of risk that some of those employees might not be loyal to the United States. He’s going to encourage businesses to stop hiring foreigners so he can get U.S. citizens trained and ready to succeed at jobs that businesses would hire Americans to do at a lower salary than he’d allow them to pay foreigners.


Finally, this one is the most egregious. The RAISE Act will be eliminating several groups of people that can come to the United States, and the determination as to whom will be eliminated seems highly focused on getting the United States ‘back to a simpler time.’

Trump wants to ensure that only members of a nuclear family, as we describe that, can help each other come here. If you’re already here, and you want a family member to come, you can apply for them, show evidence that you can support them, and so on, but only if the United States decides your family ties are close enough. If it’s common for grandparents to live in your home where you originated, Trump doesn’t seem to care. In American, that’s not common, and he thinks we should keep it that way. No uncles and aunts living with their nieces and nephews if the parents are able to take care of the kids. No grandparents living with their grandchildren either. Cousins? Forget it.

However, the RAISE Act does however add a provision that allows parents of U.S. citizens to come to the United States on a nonimmigrant W-visa on a temporary basis to visit their child, get medical care and so on. However, there’s no information as to whether that medical care must be paid out of pocket, can be paid through their child’s insurance, or will be provided by the government. The Act also doesn’t say whether these parents can hold temporary jobs, how they’d be taxed if they do so, whether they could invest in nonfinancial assets like real estate and commercial partnerships, whether they could run a business, and whether they could employ someone in that business within the stipulations of this new visa.

Trump also wants to end the Diversity Visa, which basically states that there’s a certain number of people that can come from each country on the planet, unless a country has already sent 50,000 or more people in the past 5 years. Historically, we’ve invited people in from everywhere. We’ve welcome everyone because that’s who we are. Trump seems to think that we should stop being who we are, that we should focus on who is already here for awhile until we start randomly letting more people in regardless of their qualifications. Additionally, he wants to reduce overall number of visas for any purpose, not just this one, by 50%, bringing the total from 675,000 to 337,500. He says that will bring legal immigration levels down to more historical levels.

Finally, he wants to limit refugees to 50,000 per year. The longest-standing mission of the United States has been to not only allow anyone to come in but to give priority those who would die if they didn’t come here. To be more specific, we bring in people who are trapped in the middle of a war, who are being threatened or attacked for their beliefs, who are being mistreated by their government, who are in need of urgent medical care unavailable in their country, who are suffering from natural disasters, and anyone else who is unable to survive without help. Trump has shown that he’s more cold and calculating than compassionate.

So what are the effects of all this?


  1. I didn’t even come close to qualifying 18 out of 30. I’m 65 with a bachelor’s degree and the rest of my answers were the same as yours.

    Trump is doing the U.S. a huge disfavor, for most immigrants are very imaginative at pulling financial opportunities together. They see more with their fresh perspective.

    It’s obvious what Trump is trying to do – create a nation of only wealthy people.

    1. Don’t despair. This test was intended to disqualify most people. I hope a majority of Congress sees that the RAISE Act is just another way to keep people out.

      I agree with you. Trump is showing that socioeconomic discrimination is real and dangerous.

  2. While I do have a Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco, I believe financially I would still fall short. It is redundant for me as I was born there and left even before Obama was elected.
    Have you thought of doing a post on those getting out, those who got out and those who want to but haven’t figured out how? I know that the numbers of those giving up their citizenship have sharply escalated.
    Thanks for choosing to follow one of my blogs. I hope you continue to enjoy the posts. Léa

    1. Thank you, Léa. If you haven’t formally renounced citizenship, then you don’t need to qualify.

      You’re correct. The number of people who leave every year has spiked. They raised the fee from $450 to $2,350, but it keeps rising.

      You seem to know more about this. Could you help us all understand a little better?

    2. I’m not exactly sure what you want? I must complete my request for French citizenship before renouncing. I’ll do my best with your questions but much is available on the internet. It would have been easy to go to Canada as I have family there and I believe there may still be some in Sweden but I’m afraid I love the sea and the sun so the Mediterranean was my first choice and here I am.

    3. Hi Léa. This is an academic blog so if you have any insights, reports, or ways to help people in a similar situation, we welcome that.

      Here are some suggestions: How long does it take to fully renounce from start to finish? Is your situation, leaving the U.S. for France, typical, or is it much different going from the U.S. to other countries or from other countries to France? How welcoming are most countries when they know you’re coming from the U.S.? Does France give you a French test before accepting you?

      If you have any information, I’m sure you could be helpful to others looking to move.

    4. I’m afraid there isn’t a menu that I can pick and choose from. Also, what was true for me coming a decade ago has surely changed at least some. I didn’t come as an immigrant but I came for a year for which I obtained my Long Term Visa or Carte de Sejour. I had to do some paperwork for the first five years, things have changed, but then applied for residency which I have. Any homework you do before hand will help. I was told that there would be a test in French and if so, I believe it was more being able to communicate with the person who you report to. I read French much better than I speak it. I’m an introvert and so I don’t like talking if I don’t have to. Since I read a lot, and love the French poets not to mention I write myself, that is what I focused the conversation on and it worked. One thing I did that saved me some headaches was communicate with someone who answered a question on one of those ex-pat sites. She emailed me and we kept communicating. When the time came to apply for the visa, she sent me copies of all her identification and insisted I use her address. We are still friends. Another thing that saved me thousands of dollars was a little book I read. I believe the authors name is Rosanne Knorr? The book was The Grown-Ups Guide to Running Away From Home but it has been updated since I left. Before you pack, check into which states have reciprocity for a driver’s license. When I left there were only five or six out of all fifty states. I managed to get one in one of them and later saw what a friend went through that had to earn hers here. Try to find someone in the Country you choose to go to and see what you can learn. There are ex-pat websites but I’ve seen too many errors there. However, like I said before things keep changing. Make a trip there and do it in the season that affects you most. You may require a warmer or cooler climate. As far as the big renounce goes, I am waiting until I have my French passport in hand. It impossible to say how welcoming people are as that is so individual. I had always heard that the French hated Americans and that is diametrically opposed to my experience. However, there is always “The Ugly American” attitude and politeness can go a long way. I’ve been to a number of Countries in my life but not to live. I am here and have no desire to be anywhere else.
      I really must go but if you have more specific questions, you know where to find me. Bonne Chance!

    5. Thank you for your reply. I think you don’t know how much you provided. There’s no menu, but you’ve certainly helped. I would’ve never thought about drivers license reciprocity.

      Thank you for helping. I don’t plan to leave–I did consider Carte de Sejour though–but I’m sure there’s someone out there that you’ve just helped, and that’s awesome.


    6. Lovely if I was able to help. Different countries have different requirements and they are all subject to change. While the ex-pat sites can be useful, they can also be wrong. Yes, the driver’s license issue save me at least three thousand and lots of time. I haven’t seen the updated copy of her book but I do believe there is now more than one and more Country specific. A man who had moved to France about a decade before I did recommended the book on one of the ex-pat sites. Also making a friend here even before visiting has been a huge bonus.
      A demain,

    7. Thanks Léa. I know the process is quite involved, but you’ve done your research. I think you’re going to have a great time there. I’m excited for you.

      If I know someone moving to France, I’ll let them know you’ve been helpful.

    8. Yes, but like elsewhere, the process changes so if I were coming now, I would be looking into what was current. However, I do recommend that book as it has a lot of little things one might overlook. Best wishes, Léa

  3. My partner and I are both born here and it would take us together to make it in. She’s an adjunct professor with a Masters and only gets 18 points whereas I squeak out 24 points with only my Bachelors.
    This is ridiculous. And any educator (or any kid who ever made it anywhere) can tell you standardized testing is a measure of your ability to take a test. Nothing more.

    1. There are many people that wouldn’t qualify. This is not meant to reform immigration but to stop it, to exclude people.

      This could be an easy one to stop. A simple presentation of the math could show the real number of people who would qualify, and I may be able to put that together and pass it along to Congress.

  4. Here is my problem with it. I would not even qualify. I have a bachelors in a STEM field, make good money, and fluent in English. Of course, I guess I am too old (mid 40s) and poor to be worthwhile. I guess the days when someone can come here work hard and succeed are long gone.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I agree. Trump thinks he’s supposed to recruit the best talent, but you can’t run a country like a company.

      Several combinations on that test show that the RAISE Act is intended to block entry.

      I think he learned with healthcare that he can’t tell Congress to just do whatever he wants. He said “there’s a narrow path on healthcare…you change one thing and lose two Republicans…you change something else and lose a Democrat.”

      Now he’s trying to create a bill that will pass in Congress without them realizing its real intentions.

    1. Thank you, Nasir.

      If you or your clients request further information about this post or anything in my other posts, I’m happy to answer your questions.

      Likewise, if you have additional information, I’m happy to have you here!

  5. There are many things wrong here but one item I want to point out is the education field. I have a master’s degree but not in STEM. What would I put for education then? (Rhetorical question that doesn’t actually need an answer.)

    1. Thank you. Great question!

      Your masters degree would have to be a professional degree like medicine, law, MBA, or you’d have to select bachelors degree.

      Is there anything else I can help you with?

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