Two Trump Administration priorities became public yesterday that will undermine civil rights, racial justice, and diversity in the United States.
First, the Administration announced its endorsement of the RAISE Act to choke immigration by reducing refugee admissions, limiting family-based petitions, and eliminating the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Second, media reports reveal that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to attack race-conscious and affirmative action programs in higher education admissions, which have for decades improved college-going for communities of color including Asian Americans.
It is noteworthy that the public is learning about these affronts to immigration and affirmative action on the same day. Throughout his campaign and since his inauguration, the enduring strategy of Trump rhetoric, proposals, and policies has been to blame and scapegoat immigrants and communities of color.
Proposal Would Dramatically Limit Family Immigration
Trump’s endorsement of the RAISE Act, sponsored by GOP Senators Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), puts the scapegoating of all immigrants at the center of immigration reform. A xenophobic extension of the status quo stance to “crack down” on immigration through inhumane deportations, the bill will severely infringe immigrant family reunification with adult children and siblings, demolish a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees, and undermine the diversity of immigrants from underrepresented countries in the world.
This proposal echoes the dark ages of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and makes more apparent that longstanding attacks on undocumented immigrants have served to devalue and dehumanize all immigrants.
Now, more than ever, all immigrants–documented and undocumented–along with non-immigrants, must defend sanctuaries and a vision of a diverse America built through decades of immigration advocacy.
Attack on Affirmative Action is an Assault on Civil Rights
According to media reports, the U.S. Department of Justice is making plans to sue universities to end race-conscious and other affirmative action programs. Affirmative action programs are designed to promote diversity and ensure equity for disadvantaged groups.
In California, Proposition 209 has banned affirmative action in public employment, contracting, and education since 1996. Nonetheless, anxieties about the scarcity of college admissions, especially among Asian Americans, continue to be exploited. Restoring affirmative action in California while also pursuing expanded college enrollment, growing the number of UC campuses, and addressing rising out-of-state admissions, presents a more realistic and fair approach to growing access and opportunity for all, while making sure everyone can participate.
Federal attacks on affirmative action based on fear, ignorance, and bigotry is destructive and a waste of government resources.
CAA is available for immediate phone and in-person media interviews on these issues, and will be hosting a press conference later this week.