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."
On January 21 of this year, we stood in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington DC, joining and hosting events from Japan to Ecuador, Germany to Australia, and everywhere in between. Today, we’re more fired up than ever, but what exactly have we been up to? Well, a lot…Read more
On 17 July Democrats Abroad made a submission to the Senate Finance Committee on tax reform in response to an invitation from SFC Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch. These are key comments in summary.Read more
On July 13 and 14, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump traveled to Paris to observe Bastille Day festivities. Democrats Abroad France responded to Trump’s visit with a rally supporting Democratic issues.Read more
We would like to extend a huge “Thank you” to the GOTV and phonebanking volunteers! Thanks to our volunteers, we contacted hundreds of DA members who vote in Georgia and South Carolina — and hundreds more who vote in Montana, California and Kansas for the 2017 Special Elections. A special shout-out to the top three phonebanking volunteers in June:
Wendy Abondolo (DA UK)
Dean Shuey (DA Philippines)
Michelle Beldner (DA Denmark)
All of the 2017 Special Elections have been held in deeply 'red' districts, specifically chosen by Republicans because they were 'safe' seats. Each seat came very close to being flipped! In just seven months since the 2016 elections, Republicans suffered huge drops in their winning margins — ranging from 9 to 24 point swings.
These results show that Democrats can pick up the 24 seats needed to win a House majority in 2018. All 435 House seats are up for grabs in 2018, including 241 Republican seats. More than 70 of these Republican seats lean more Democratic than the Georgia 6th District!
This fall, we'll be counting on DA members and volunteers to turn out the Democratic vote for the Special Election in Utah's 3rd Congressional District, the Special Election for the Alabama Senate seat, and the New Jersey and Virginia State races. Let's keep the momentum going for 2018!
Here’s what you can do:
Volunteer with the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) team. Use this form to let us know what you’d like to do: Join the GOTV Team
Send your ideas to help make GOTV more effective to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vote in a 2017 election: start the process at VoteFromAbroad.org and follow the prompts. Then print out the form, sign it and send it in to your Local Election Office back in the U.S.
Net Neutrality or the Open Internet is important for everyone, but for Americans living abroad internet access is absolutely vital for staying in touch with family and friends, and to continue participating in American democracy.
Proposed FCC rules structurally undermine the equality of citizens to participate freely in the public sphere.Read more
Under Trumpcare, Americans abroad with pre-existing conditions may be forced to live in “exile” if the Republican health bill passes. Young families considering a return to the US would face decreased coverage for family planning and maternal/infant care. For those with loved ones in the US, cutting Medicaid funding will have an impact on our elderly family members as well as those with disabilities or mental health issues. We face very tough decisions, not only about ourselves but about our families back in the US.
There are lots of unknowns about the Senate healthcare bill. The bill is being written behind closed doors by a 13-member (all white male) working group led by Senator Mitch McConnell. Even Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price admitted on June 17th that he had not seen what the Republicans were working on. But what we do know is that the Republican-dominated Senate is pushing forward to get their health care bill passed by July 4th. The Senate plans on sending their bill to the Congressional Budget Office before making their text public and have been liaising with the CBO behind the scenes in order to speed up the scoring.
By contrast, the Affordable Care Act had months of public hearings, 160 hours of debate and discussions surrounding hundreds of amendments (170 of which were adopted).
It is critical that we demand that the senate discuss the bill in a democratic fashion - opening it up to discussion, debate and amendment. It is critical that we demand that no American's health and security be sacrificed at the altar of special interests. The pressure that McConnell is exercising on Republican Senators to get enough votes to pass this bill is immense. We must exert equal pressure by calling our Senators to let them know how the bill will impact us and to tell our stories.
Take a moment today to call your senator about the bill and tell them your story. If they are Democratic they will appreciate your support and if they are Republican they need to feel the pressure.
Below are a few personal stories from Americans abroad that provide our unique perspective on health care - both in the US and in the countries where we now live.