Yesterday, Trump announced his support for the RAISE Act, a bill calling for “merit based” immigration that rewards individuals who are affluent and already speak English before they arrive to America. Flanked by authors Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-LA), Trump praised the bill, which is designed to cut legal immigration to the US in half within a decade.
If passed, the bill's impact would be widely felt among the Democrats Abroad community, effectively exiling many Americans abroad and their foreign citizen spouses and keeping them from returning to the United States.
As well, Democrats Abroad opposes elements of the bill which:
- Limit family visas
- Unfairly reward those from English-speaking countries and with high salaries
- Prohibit greencard holders from receiving welfare
- Eliminate the Diversity Visa Program entirely (which provides 50,000 visas a year to people from countries with low immigration rates);
- Cap refugee visas to 50,000 (less than 60% 2016 numbers)
Democrats Abroad International Chair Julia Bryan notes, "America was not built on ethnic purity tests, and we will not stand for xenophobia thinly disguised as immigration reform. We trust that those opposing the bill — including Senators Lindsay Graham and John Thune — are genuine in their critique, and we implore both Democrats and Republicans to help put a stop to a bill that would write racism and classism into our laws."