Smith Statement Condemning RAISE Act
“The United States has a proud history built on our founding as a nation of immigrants. Our existing immigration system is in dire need of reform, but the deeply prejudicial RAISE Act the President has endorsed is not the solution. This detestable proposal would slash our legal immigration program in half and keep families apart through dramatically altering our current family-based immigration system to a so-called merit-based program. The bill would also deny asylum to tens of thousands of refugees fleeing dangerous conditions and persecution. The RAISE Act contradicts American values, places the future of our economy at serious risk, and endangers our national security. President Trump’s support for the RAISE Act is based on a dangerous fear of America’s increasing diversity, and illustrates a clear misunderstanding of America’s heritage.
“The incredible diversity and the range of talents that immigrants have brought to the United States defines our country and our history. In the Puget Sound region, in addition to contributing to our community as scientists and innovators, immigrants are the backbone of our thriving service and tourism industries. Washington state is the third largest agricultural exporter in the United States, made possible only by the hard work of immigrants. We should be focused on legislation to fix our broken immigration system in a way that continues to grow our economy, enrich our culture, and reflect our founding principles. I will fight xenophobic proposals like the RAISE Act to ensure they do not become law.”