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As the Senate’s immigration debate kicks into higher gear today, there is a concerted effort underway by Republicans to sanitize the immigration agenda and implications of the proposals from President Trump, Stephen Miller, and fellow hardliners.
But there should be no mistake: Republicans are using neutral-sounding language and terminology to promote a policy agenda that seeks to keep out and kick out people of color in hopes of reversing the demographic diversification of America.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
While words such as “merit,” “security,” and “nuclear family” sound like neutral terms, GOP hardliners are using sanitized language to cover up the ugly smell of a radical and, yes, racist agenda. They hope to lull Americans to sleep, when in fact their mass deportation and ethnic purity agenda is a nightmare that we should all wake up to and rise up to stop.
Just look at who would be disproportionately harmed by the key policy planks of the White House and allied proposals: expanding Trump’s mass deportation force by adding thousands of new ICE and CBP agents would target Latinos and other people of color; slashing legal immigration levels and redefining the nuclear family would target Asians and other people of color; eliminating the diversity visa program would target Africans and other people of color.
Senator Tom Cotton let the mask slip a bit last year when he said derisively (and inaccurately) 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.”
Securing Dreamers’ freedom and futures should not be subject to a vast series of unrelated and racially-charged measures that would slash legal immigration, turbocharge Trump’s mass deportation agenda, and build a ridiculous border wall.
Narrow gets it done. The Dream Act plus reasonable border security measures is the solution. Radical, racist and cynical is not.
America’s greatest strength is its strength and unity forged out of diversity and freedom. A debate on immigration is an opportunity to underscore these values, not trash them.