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At the White House today, Republican Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) will unveil the RAISE Act, legislation to slash legal immigration levels and eliminate multiple categories of family-based legal immigration and diversity visas. The bill would cap refugee admissions at 50,000, thereby reducing the admission of refugees.
A recent HuffPost piece, titled “GOP Bill To Curb Legal Immigration Disproportionately Hits Nonwhite Americans,” assessed the RAISE Act through the lens of its ethnic and racial effects. The piece includes quotes supporting theRAISE Act from hate groups and white nationalists:
This is the sort of legal immigration reform that we’ve been calling for for a long time,” said Ira Mehlman, a FAIR spokesman. People should be let in based on merit, not family ties, he said.
“Anybody can find something to quibble with in anything, but… it looks like the perfect bill,” he added.
The bill also has the support of white nationalist William Johnson, who was briefly a Trump delegate. The bill is “a viable first step in changing the nation’s immigration policies,” he said in an email.
Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, said the bill “sounds awesome.”
Even Senator Cotton let slip some of his larger motivations, saying derisively of current immigration policy, “Once you get here, you have a green card and you can open up immigration not just to your immediate family, but your extended family, your village, your clan, your tribe.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
This bill has almost nothing to do with increasing the skill level of incoming legal immigrants and almost everything to do with the aggressive pursuit of a racially-charged nativist agenda. The net effect will be to slash legal immigration by 50% by eliminating multiple categories of legal immigrants, a policy that will disproportionately affect Asian-American U.S. citizens who want to sponsor their loved ones; by capping refugee admissions so that refugees, many of whom are Muslim, are left stranded in camps with nowhere to go; and by eliminating the diversity program, which will hurt Africans and Caribbean immigrants who have few other opportunities to immigrate to America. The sponsors are throwing sand in our face and lies about negative impacts in an effort to slash the admission of Asians, Muslims, and black immigrants. Let’s call it as we see it: this is a white nationalist agenda masquerading as a bill about skill levels. Welcome to the Trump era. And welcome to Tom Cotton’s audition as the Senate’s new Jeff Sessions.