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Advocates Call Trump Legal Immigration Proposal Racist, Inhumane

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Thursday, August 3, 2017   

LOS ANGELES -- Immigrant-rights groups are calling President Trump's proposal to cut legal immigration by half racist and mean-spirited.

On Wednesday, the president endorsed the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act, or RAISE Act, which would favor English-speaking, high-skill immigrants and limit the ability of American citizens and legal permanent residents to bring certain relatives - such as parents, siblings and grandparents - to the U.S.

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles, called the proposal inhumane.

"Families have always made our country strong,” Salas said. "And I'm appalled that Republicans, who say that they're the party of family values, are destroying the family unity system in the immigration law."

The RAISE Act also would eliminate the green card lottery diversity program that brings in migrants from underrepresented countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. Wealthy investors still would be granted visas, but the number of refugees allowed in would be slashed, including those from countries where the United States is at war.

Trump has said the bill would protect American jobs and lessen the welfare burden. Salas noted that California, with its booming economy, absorbs more legal immigrants than any other state - almost 210,000 in 2015.

"Immigrants and their children make up half of the population of California, and we are the sixth largest economy of the world,” she said. "So if we are thriving, it's because of immigrant families, immigrant labor and immigrant contribution, and immigrant know-how."

Federal statistics show that more than 1 million people immigrated to the U.S. legally in 2015, which is higher than the year before, but lower than in 2005 and 2001.


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