Two Trump Administration priorities became public today 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 Trump administration plans to attack race-conscious and affirmative action programs in higher education admissions that have for decades improved college-going for all communities including Asian Americans.
“It is noteworthy that we are learning about these new attacks against immigration and affirmative action on the same day. The Trump administration is hell-bent on blaming and scapegoating immigrants and communities of color rather than pursuing meaningful problem-solving,” stated Vincent Pan, Executive Director of CAA.
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 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 attacks on undocumented immigrants have been about devaluing the contributions of all immigrants.
“The RAISE Act is an attack on the dignity and respect that all immigrants deserve, and will be detrimental to immigrant families from all over the world. Now, more than ever, all immigrants and non-immigrants must defend sanctuaries and a vision of a diverse America built through decades of advocacy.” said Hong Mei Pang, Immigrant Rights Program Manager at CAA.
According to media reports, the U.S. Department of Justice is making plans to sue universities for 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.
“For more than twenty years, we have not had affirmative action in California’s colleges and universities. Nonetheless, anxieties about college admissions, especially among Asian Americans, continue to be exploited. We should bring back affirmative action while also pursuing other solutions like growing the number of UC campuses or addressing rising out-of-state student enrollment,” stated Vincent Pan, Executive Director of CAA.
Pan continued, “We need grow access and opportunity for all, while making sure everyone can participate. These attacks on affirmative action accomplish absolutely nothing.” Civil rights experts and higher education leaders consistently argue that affirmative action programs are necessary to ensure diversity in the classroom as well as to address historic inequities faced by communities of color.
CAA is available for immediate phone and in-person interviews, and will be hosting a press conference on Friday, August 4th, 2017 at 10am for media partners interested in covering the emerging stories at
Chinese for Affirmative Action
17 Walter U Lum Pl.
San Francisco, CA 94108