SAALT Vehemently Opposes Bill Limiting Legal Immigration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb­ru­ary 7, 2017

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian Amer­i­can advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion, vehe­ment­ly oppos­es today’s bill intro­duced by Sen­a­tor Tom Cot­ton (R‑AR) that aims to crack­down on legal immi­gra­tion. The bill, named the Reform­ing Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion for Strong Employ­ment (RAISE) Act, would sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the num­ber of immi­grants who can obtain green cards and oth­er visas and would cut the num­ber of legal immi­grants allowed in the Unit­ed States by 40% in the first year and by 50% over a decade.

“This bill is clear­ly part of an undis­guised and coor­di­nat­ed attack on immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties,” stat­ed Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, Direc­tor Nation­al Pol­i­cy and Advo­ca­cy at SAALT. “The dra­con­ian use of leg­is­la­tion and Exec­u­tive Orders to crim­i­nal­ize and mar­gin­al­ize immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties reveals the inher­ent xeno­pho­bia of this new admin­is­tra­tion.”

Num­ber­ing over 4.3 mil­lion, South Asians are the fastest grow­ing demo­graph­ic group in the Unit­ed States, with the major­i­ty our com­mu­ni­ties for­eign born. Sen­a­tor Cot­ton’s bill will make reunit­ing fam­i­lies a drain­ing if not impos­si­ble task for South Asian immi­grants who already strug­gle under a woe­ful­ly out­dat­ed immi­gra­tion sys­tem that makes fam­i­ly reuni­fi­ca­tion a bur­den­some task.

We implore Con­gress to sup­port and not hin­der immi­gra­tion, to wel­come refugees, to not crip­ple sanc­tu­ary cities, and to adopt an accu­rate and long view of our coun­try’s his­to­ry that sees immi­grants as a fun­da­men­tal aspect of Amer­i­can life.

Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di
vivek@saalt.org