WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — South Asians Leading Together, known commonly as SAALT, a national South Asian American advocacy organization, has come out in opposition of a bill introduced by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Georgia Sen. David Perdue.

The bill, titled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or RAISE, seeks to restore historical and legal immigration levels, which in turn will provide working Americans with a fairer chance of wealth creation, the bill said.

The bill will help raise American workers’ wages by reducing overall immigration by half and rebalancing the system toward employment-based visas and immediate family household members, according to a release from the two Senators. One of the ways RAISE will do this is by eliminating the diversity visa lottery, which Cotton and Perdue say is outdated and plagued with fraud.

Vivek Trivedi, communications and development manager of SAALT, told Diya TV in an exclusive interview that’s simply not the case.

“The diversity lottery was established in the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act which was passed in the civil rights era to right the wrongs of our past immigration laws that preferenced Northern and Western Europeans,” Trivedi said. “Today, the diversity lottery still provides diversity to the U.S. and is a primary way for immigrants from Africa to come to the U.S.”

If passed, the bill would significantly reduce the number of immigrants who can obtain green cards and other visas and would cut the number of legal immigrants allowed in the United States by 40 percent in the first year and by 50 percent over a decade. Lakshmi Sridaran, Director National Policy and Advocacy at SAALT, called this an attack on the immigrant community.

“This bill is clearly part of an undisguised and coordinated attack on immigrant communities,” Sridaran said in a press release. “The draconian use of legislation and Executive Orders to criminalize and marginalize immigrant communities reveals the inherent xenophobia of this new administration.”

RAISE cites the research of professors from Harvard and Princeton University, research that reveals the act would reduce immigration levels in the U.S. by 41 percent during its first year of being implemented and 50 percent by year 10. Trivedi, however, said this research has been observed as highly controversial and has been contested for the fact it does not take into account other benefits the country receives from its immigrant workforce, such as the amount of innovation and small businesses created by immigrants.

Though the bill promises to create a temporary visa program for the parents of immigrants that require caretaking, Trivedi said the temporary program also limits extra visas to those in need of caretaking only. This means those with healthy parents can’t employ grandma and grandpa to help raise their families.

“The temporary visas for elderly parents is inadequate and offensive,” Trivedi said. “Parents, adult children or adult siblings could be the only living relative of a US citizen across an ocean the families would be forced to remain separated under this bill.”