Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) are part of a sinister cabal (along with Donald Trump), scream Tuesday’s headlines in Politico and the Huffington Post. Cotton and Perdue’s plan, introduced on Feb. 7, seeks to carry out an overhaul of our nation’s immigration policy almost exactly according to the blueprint devised by civil rights icon Barbara Jordan and a group of bipartisan commissioners in the 1990s, and endorsed by President Bill Clinton.
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act would overhaul the way we select immigrants to come to the United States by eliminating family chain migration (while prioritizing the admission of spouses and minor children of citizens and legal permanent residents) and emphasizing skills as the criteria for the admission of other immigrants. Within a decade, the RAISE Act envisions reducing overall immigration levels to about 540,000 annually – exactly the target recommended by the Jordan Commission.
Some might describe what Cotton and Perdue are proposing as immigration reform. But not Politico: That Inside-the-Beltway publication reported about the bill in a story with the headline “Cotton and Trump plot crackdown on legal immigration.” In Politico’s opinion, the two senators are not proposing to reform our immigration system because reform can only mean granting amnesty to illegal aliens and increasing our overall intake. Cotton and Perdue didn’t just introduce legislation (which is pretty much part of the job description for U.S. Senators); they secretly hatched a “plot” with you-know-who. And, if the RAISE Act should become law, it would not change or reform the way we select immigrants it would represent a (harsh/draconian – choose your implied adjective) “crackdown on legal immigration.”
Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post (which, unlike Politico, makes no attempt to hide its political biases) found even more sinister motives for the RAISE Act. “GOP Bill to Curb Legal Immigration Disproportionately Hits Nonwhite Americans,” proclaims the HuffPo headline. Apparently, the notion that the motive for the RAISE Act might be that our current legal immigration policy makes absolutely no sense and serves no identifiable public interest, was never considered by HuffPo.
Further, the logic of HuffPo seems to be that because the vast majority of people who currently benefit from U.S. immigration policy (and have for decades) are nonwhite, any changes to that policy must be inherently biased. Nor did they even stop to consider their own racism. The headline reprehensibly suggests that a merit-based immigration system would exclude nonwhite immigrants. In fact, most of our highest skilled immigrants come from Asia, Africa and Latin America.