The DC Latino Caucus categorically condemns implementation of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act being pushed by President Trump.
It has only been half a year since the Trump Administration was elected, and in this short time we have faced countless challenges as Latinos and as Americans. President Trump’s announcement in support of the RAISE Act is only his most recent attempt to unconstitutionally reduce immigration in a nation of immigrants founded on the principle of welcoming “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The RAISE Act seeks to drastically reduce immigration by 50% over the next decade, and imposes a so-called "merit-based" system that gives preference to English speakers and judges education and job skill levels.
Had this system been in place for most of the nation's history, it would have excluded the many American citizens who have a parent or grandparent who fled war, famine, or disaster in a non-English speaking country to seek out life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It would have excluded the legions of Latino workers who labor in fields and factories to truly make America great.
Not only is the RAISE Act morally reprehensible, it will prove ineffective in getting illegal immigration under control in the United States. As the RAISE Act decreases legal immigration, experts anticipate that it will increase illegal immigration among those who were newly denied access into the country. It also threatens the vitality of the nation's economy by cutting off an important source of tax-paying people when America's population is becoming increasingly older.
Trump is trying on band-aid solutions to keep people out of this country, instead of working to fix the root of the problem--why undocumented workers are leaving their original homes in the first place. Unfortunately, Trump's support of the RAISE Act is not surprising given his other actions including his attack on Sanctuary Cities, his ban on transgender people serving in the military, his ban on Muslims, and his suggestion that White Americans are being discriminated against through affirmative action.
We encourage every supporter of our free and open society--and of the Latino community--to express their opposition to the Act by contacting their elected representatives. For residents of the District of Columbia who lack representation in Congress, we urge you to contact friends and relatives throughout the United States and encourage them to get involved in the political process to prevent the RAISE Act from passing through Congress.
DC Latino Caucus
Board of Directors