WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Trump announced support for Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Senator David Perdue’s (R-GA) updated restrictionist anti-immigrant bill, the RAISE Act, that would upend the immigration system to further a white nationalist agenda and move the country in the wrong direction.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice issued the following statement in response to this harmful proposal:
“Asian Americans Advancing Justice is outraged that this anti-immigrant bill is being supported by President Trump. The American public should not be fooled by the labeling of this bill as ‘merit-based.’ The clear goal of this bill is to reduce the number of immigrants to the United States.
We remind the country that the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was a civil rights act that overturned the racist quota system that gave preference to Northern and Western European immigrants. Immigration to the U.S. since the passage of that Act is responsible for the vibrant and diverse country that we have today. To end that system would be a grave mistake harming the very soul of our Nation.
Two-thirds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are immigrants, and 92 percent of Asian Americans are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The vast majority of Asian immigrants have come to the U.S. through the family-based immigration system, and many Asian immigrants that come on employment-based visas also use the family-based system to reunite with family members.
Our immigration system should continue to value families. Instead, the RAISE Act proposes to decimate the family-based immigration system, keeping families separated and preventing immigrant communities from taking root.
The RAISE Act is part of a larger strategy to scapegoat immigrants and further marginalize people of color. Contrary to the xenophobic and misguided stereotypes that belie the RAISE Act, immigrants contribute immensely to our economy, create jobs for all Americans, and increase safety in our communities. Our government should focus on policy solutions that promote economic security and prosperity for all members of our society. We will fight against this attack on our families and communities.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.