As the Trump Administration reviews reforms to the immigration system, seven priority measures emerge.
1. Ending Family Chain Migration
Every year, the U.S. admits nearly 1.5 million new legal immigrants. The influx is largely due to an immigration system that chooses foreign nationals based on whether or not they have relatives already living in the U.S. Legislation like Sen. Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act mandates a system that prioritizes immediate family members and eliminates the non-merit “diversity lottery,” where 50,000 visas are given to foreign nationals every year.
Although the Trump administration has shown slight curbs to family chain migration visas, a legal immigration system based on merit and skills, which Trump promised to enact in his address to Congress this year, would ultimately end the era of family chain migration.
2. Slashing Low-skilled Immigration
With family chain migration comes low-skilled workers, of which the U.S. is inundated with every year. For example, 66,000 are able to enter the country on H-2B visas every year to take nonagricultural jobs. They are able to sometimes remain in the U.S. for up to three years, though as Breitbart Texas reported, many of them over-stay their visas for decades. In 2016, more than 33,000 foreign guest workers had still yet to leave the U.S. despite their visas mandating they do so.
Low-skilled immigration, while helping big business, has long stifled Americans’ wages and kept native workers from feeling as though they belong in particular blue-collar industries. For instance, as Breitbart Texas reported, wages in seven of nine blue-collar jobs prone to foreign guest workers were shown to have actually decreased over the last nine years. A shift in legal immigration policy that slashes low-skilled immigration through the number of Green Cards and low-skilled visas given to foreign nationals every year would hold up to the promises made to American workers by the Trump administration.
3. End Birthright Citizenship
When Trump repeatedly said on the campaign trail and now in the White House that the U.S. will soon begin building a border wall along the southern border, the proposal is not only a ready plan to end illegal immigration, but also a metaphor of keeping the nation’s sovereignty intact.
Currently, illegal immigrants are able to come to the U.S. and have children that will automatically be given American citizenship. The children of illegal immigrants who were born on U.S. soil are often referred to as “anchor babies.” Through relatively unknown legislation like the bill Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has proposed, Trump can make a big change in strengthening the most coveted title in the world, American citizenship, by ending birthright citizenship.
4. Shutting Down Obama’s Executive Amnesty
Trump has called former President Obama’s executive amnesty program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a measure that he would toss out. DACA gives temporary amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The program allows them to legally work and attend school in the U.S. Often, as Breitbart Texas reported, foreign gang members can easily slip through the cracks of the program and end up receiving federal protections.
Until recently, Trump remained clear on the issue, saying DACA was unconstitutional and promising to end it entirely. While Trump was pressured by business executives to keep DACA, immigration hawks have continued to demand an end, along with a 10-state coalition that has threatened to sue the federal government if the executive amnesty is not shuttered.
5. Halting Refugee Resettlement
Refugee resettlement is not often seen as a legal immigration issue, as it is not handled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but rather the State Department. It has been a heated subject for quite some time across America. Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled more than 3 million into the country, often from terrorist-sanctioned areas and vastly different cultures.
Previously, Trump has railed against the refugee resettlement program, arguing that it does not properly vet foreign refugees who could pose a danger to Americans. Most recently, the majority of the President’s travel ban, which halts refugee resettlement from a slew of Muslim-majority nations, has been allowed to be enacted by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue. This has excited Trump’s working-class, middle-class base, which supports the travel ban more than any other group of Americans. Though the travel ban is a step forward for reform, a full halt on refugee resettlement until the process of extreme vetting is perfected would stay true to Trump’s initial sentiments.
6. Mandating E-Verify
There is nothing more popular on the legal immigrant front than mandatory E-Verify, the directive that all employers in the U.S. must screen potential employees to make sure they are living in the country legally. In a recent poll of likely Missouri voters, as Breitbart Texas reported, mandatory E-Verify was the most supported issue with 75 percent favoring the requirement.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has introduced a bill, Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act, which would mandate E-Verify nationwide and penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants. As a recent study shows, millions of Americans would be employed if they were not forced to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs in states that do not enforce E-Verify.
7. Enacting Major Reforms to the H-1B Visa
While campaigning, Trump appeared with former Disney employees who had been forced to train their cheaper, foreign worker replacements – who came to the U.S. on the H-1B visa – and then fired. Every year, more than hundreds of thousands of H-1B foreign guest workers are allowed to enter the U.S. to take jobs, often times replacing Americans who have been in their industries for decades.
As Breitbart Texas has reported, these “forgotten Americans” were among, and continue to be, the most vocal advocates for Trump’s agenda. While a full legal review by the Labor Department, DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the H-1B visa is underway, Americans who have been outsourced are hoping the review leads to big reforms. For instance, immigration patriots have previously told Breitbart Texas that the H-1B visa law should be entirely rewritten to protect American workers and put more restrictions on business interests, thus outlawing the replacement of U.S. workers.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.