UUSC denounces the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act and the xenophobic arguments being used to justify this legislation. Rather than focusing on genuine efforts to improve the economic situation for struggling people, this legislation scapegoats immigrant workers in order to avoid addressing the true causes of low wages and poverty in the United States, such as attacks on worker organizing, opposition to minimum wage increases, and rapid growth of executive pay despite stagnating wages for employees.
Through Love Resists, UUSC partners with worker centers across the country who advance the rights of low-wage workers. We know that the immigrant workers who are targeted under the RAISE Act contribute to the U.S. economy in significant ways and are not a threat to U.S. workers. Instead they often help to advocate for better working conditions and higher wages, which benefits all workers.
By reducing legal forms of entry, including slashing the number of refugees who can apply for permanent residency and the number of family-based and diversity visas, the legislation will only serve to weaken the U.S. economy by losing a vital component of our workforce, tearing families apart, and denying asylum for those fleeing violence. It is all too in line with this administration’s larger agenda to increase the criminalization of immigration.
Moreover, by prioritizing merit-based immigration, in which English language proficiency, education level, and job skills are prioritized, the RAISE Act devalues the critical contributions that immigrant populations of all backgrounds make to this country.
The RAISE Act, although cloaked in the language of jobs and the economy, is divisive and an affront to our values and shared humanity.