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Lindsey Graham Is Preparing Openly Racist New Immigration Legislation

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In keeping with the theme of the presidency of Donald J. Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham is, according to recent reports, planning to introduce some ultra hardline immigration legislation to Congress:

Senator Lindsey Graham plans to introduce immigration legislation on Wednesday that he said would “stop 90 percent of the illegal immigration from Central America.” Breaking down his plan to deter asylum seekers from crossing the U.S. border outside of designated ports of entry, Graham told Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo that he wanted to see the number of days migrant children could be held in detention increased from 20 to 100 days. “We got a perfect storm now because of broken laws,” Graham told Bartiromo in a Sunday interview. 

“Word is out on the street in Central America, if you bring a minor child with you to America, we can only hold a minor child for 20 days, where we release everybody, including the adults. They never show up for the hearing because it’s three years from now,” Graham said. “You can only hold a minor for 20 days. We’re going to go to 100 days,” he said. The South Carolina Republican was referring to the “20-day rule” outlined in the 1997 Flores agreement, which stemmed from a Supreme Court case that set the nation’s standards on the treatment of migrant children in federal custody. The 20-day rule is one that Trump administration officials, including President Donald Trump himself, had repeatedly hit back against.

If this is not racist immigration legislation, then I don’t know what is. Sen. Graham here is engaging with textbook right wing rhetoric by buying into the totally ridiculous and nonsensical notion that our nation is somehow under attack from illegal aliens. In reality, of course, illegal immigration has consistently been going down over the last few years, mostly because of the brilliant leadership and reforms of former President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, legal immigration has facilitated the current economic boom. More people working in America means more taxes being paid and more money going into the economy to stimulate growth. Sen. Graham and his colleagues, despite calling themselves fiscal conservatives, would throw that away for ludicrous cultural reasons.

This move by Graham is emblematic of everything that is wrong with modern immigration debate. It is based on easily refutable falsehoods. Why are we not challenging these people when they come out with this kind of xenophobic propaganda, and then try to base laws on it?


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