On Feb. 13 of last year, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced Senate Bill 354, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment or RAISE Act. This bill, which is working its way through Congress, would “amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program” and replace it with a merit-based program. Such a program would determine whether someone could come to America based on age, education, income, job prospects and proficiency in English.
My parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s from Poland. My mother had graduated high school and worked as a bookkeeper. My father did not graduate high school and worked as a tailor. Neither of my parents spoke English when they arrived in America. Both earned minimum wage. Obviously, under a new merit-based system, neither of them would have been accepted to come to America. Instead they would have died in the Holocaust.
Fortunately, my parents were able come to America. Their two sons were born in the United States, graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic and then went on to become a doctor and a lawyer.
Dr. Leon Reinstein, Baltimore