Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today voted no on a partisan immigration bill that would cut diversity visas for those who come from countries with historically low immigration to the United States. The bill, H.R. 6429, passed the House on a 245 to 139 vote. Larsen is a cosponsor of an alternate bill, the Attracting the Best and Brightest Act of 2012, which would establish a visa for highly educated immigrants without diminishing diversity visas.
"Immigration is not a zero-sum game," Larsen said. "I reject this effort to help one class of immigrants at the expense of another.
"The diversity visa program is an important way to make sure that legal immigration to the United States is not closed off to people because of where they were born. The diversity visa program makes sure that Croatians, Ukrainians, Congolese and Cambodians are able to come seek the American dream.
"I strongly support establishing a visa program to bring highly educated scientists and engineers to work in the United States, and I am a cosponsor of a bill that will do that. But we do not need to close one door while opening another."
"Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform to address all of these questions and create clear legal pathways to legal residency for those who wish to come here and contribute to our nation. That must include passing the DREAM Act, to make sure those who came here as children and are contributing to our nation are allowed to stay in the country they call home."