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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Another Day, Another Lie

I just read an article in the Miami Herald by Fabiola Santiago.  Santiago is not exactly a household name, but the article merits attention nevertheless.  It's headlined "Trump's Immigration Bill Seeks to Make America White Again -- and English Only".  The problem, however, is that the article is filled with lies.

According to Santiago, the Raise Act (the new legal immigration bill) would "close the door to people who don't speak English upon arrival."  That's not true.  The Raise Act sets up a point system to determine priorities for receiving legal immigrant status.  Speaking English will give the applicant points, but it is only one of many things that do.  A non-English speaker could well get preference over and English speaker.

Santiago also claims that the Raise Act would "prioritize skills over family reunion abandoning that sacrosanct and humanitarian tenant (sic) of U.S. immigration policy."  This is also false.  The Raise Act continues to prefer people who have close family ties to those already in the USA legally.  It specifically awards points for that.  It also, however, gives points for people with skills.  And by the way, family reunion was not part of American immigration policy for roughly the first 190 years of this nation.  It is hardly sacrosanct.

Santiago next claims that the Trump administration is "deporting young people who've lived in this country most of their lives."  More BS from Miami.  In fact, President Trump specifically kept DACA in place.  That is the program that grants special status to illegal aliens brought here as children by their parents.  The only "young people who've lived in this country most of their lives" who are being deported are those with criminal records or gang memberships.  That's the same policy that Obama followed.  Was Obama trying to "make America white again"?

Santiago then claims that the Raise act would bar people like the Cubans in Miami from ever entering the USA.  That is totally false for two reasons.  First, the Cubans who came to the USA were some of the most highly skilled immigrants of the last sixty years.  They would have been given points for that and most likely would have been admitted.  Second, and more important, the entry of Cubans was a special situation.  The USA had a  special policy for Cubans which allowed them entry.  In particular situations, that could be repeated.  After all, America allowed refugees from Vietnam to settle here after the war.  We took in Hungarians after the 1956 uprising.  It's nothing new.

The single most disgusting lie in the article, however, has to be Santiago's claim that Trump is trying to "make America white again."  There is no racial preference in this bill.  Someone from India with skills is more likely to speak English than someone from Greece without skills.  The Raise act is actually designed to help the US economy by providing new workers with better skills.  It is also designed to bring in immigrants who can assimilate more quickly into the US culture.  Best of all, it protects low income and minority workers who often have to face wages that are lowered due to the mass influx of unskilled immigrants.

The truth is that Santiago is blatantly misrepresenting what the Raise Act actually says. 

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