Jayapal was referring to Trump’s endorsement to the RAISE Act that proposes to cut legal immigration by almost 50 percent.
Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 7th District) said on Thursday that decreasing the number of legal immigrants permitted annually is not an effectual remedy to deal with immigration issues.
“It is cruel and inhuman. But equally important, it absolutely ignores the fact that what we need to do is a comprehensive overhaul of our system that allows for our economy to work and allows for our families to be together,” Jayapal said, Democracy Now reported. “This, by cutting legal immigration in half and by completely overturning all of the – you know, sort of the essential components of immigration that we’ve ever know to be true, which is that we are a place of refuge, we are a place where people from all over the world come, this does not do anything to fix our broken legal immigration system. It just cuts the numbers in half. That’s not a solution.”
Among other things, the proposed RAISE Act puts a lot of emphasis on the English language proficiency of the applicants. Jayapal said while people should know English and be able to give tests but that does not mean that it should be the deciding factor for their merit.
“And certainly, for example, with refugees, we have a lot of refugees who come in, and ultimately they do have to learn English in order – a certain amount of English, in order to take their test. But to imply that the only people who have merit in this merit-based system are people who speak English is just absolutely ludicrous,” she said.
She stressed that immigrants are essential for the economic and social survival of the country.
Jayapal also touched upon the issues surrounding climate change. She said that “this is an incredibly distressing abandonment of science, but also an abandonment of the United States’ role in global leadership.” She said that India and China are bolstering the agreement as they know that “it’s real.”