Donald Trump Is Cutting Legal Immigration, Says Pro-Migration Group

US President Donald Trump pauses while speaking to the press after a meeting with banking executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House March 11, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s deputies at the Department of State are nudging down the level of legal immigration, according to a pro-migration advocacy group.

“Due to Trump administration policies, the number of immigrant visas issued at State Department posts declined by 25% between FY 2016 and FY 2019,” said the report by the National Foundation for American Policy.

The biggest decline was seen in the inflow of “Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens” category, amid additional delays in processing claims, said the report. For example, “the number of spouses, children and parents from Mexico, China, the Dominican Republic and Pakistan sponsored by American citizens declined by approximately 50% from FY 2016 to FY 2019,” the NFAP report.

The group is run by Stuart Anderson, who formerly worked for pro-migration employers, including Cato, former Sen. Spencer Abraham, and George W. Bush.

Roughly speaking, half of the annual inflow of one million legal immigrants are processed by the Department of State, and the other half are processed by the Department of Homeland Security.

So the modest decline at the state department causes heartburn for business groups, which prosper from the annual arrival of one million consumers, workers, and renters. The growing population also helps investors and banks to grow new businesses in a growing economy.

However, the extra supply of workers hurts the four million young Americans who graduate each year. The immigrants cut wages and salaries, drive up the rents, crowd K-12 schools and universities, and inject more chaotic diversity into Americans’ politics.

Moreover, the inflow of legal immigrants has a greater impact on Americans than the smaller inflow of illegal immigrants. For example, the number of illegal migrants ranges from ten million to 14 million to 22 million. But the legal immigrant population is greater than 40 million, and it has far more impact on wages, salaries, and housing prices.

The employer-first NFAP group says Trump’s immigration cutbacks will expand as the federal government rolls out the new “Public Charge” rule. The rule denies visitor visas and green cards to people who will likely fall back on federal welfare and medical aid.

“Trump administration policies are projected to reduce the annual level of legal immigration to the United States by 30% or more, resulting in 350,000 fewer legal immigrants receiving permanent residence each year compared to the FY 2016 level of 1,183,505,” the report said.

The reduced inflow means there will be fewer foreign workers competing for American jobs in the future, the NFAP noted:

NFAP projects in the long term that the average annual U.S. labor force growth, a key component of economic growth, will be between 35% and 59% lower in America as a result of Trump administration immigration policies

The report also contains other nuggets of good news for young Americans who are seeing decent wages, cheaper housing, and shorter commutes.

For example, the number of foreign students entering U.S. universities dropped by 23 percent from 2016 to 2019, while the inflow of Indian students dropped by 29 percent, from 65,257 in 2016 to 46,021 in 2019. That is good news for Americans graduates because more than 300,000 foreign graduates were encouraged and allowed to take Americans’ jobs in 2018 via the huge Optional Practical Training program.

But the drop may be temporary, warn pro-American immigration experts.

Other migrants will replace many of the rejected migrants in the waiting line, or they may win legal appeals. Those factors suggest that part of the drop is merely a temporary dip.

Also, Trump’s administration has done little to reduce the resident population of visa workers imported under prior presidents. For example, U.S. employers have moved roughly one million Indian visa workers into jobs sought by U.S. college graduates.

Also, business groups are preparing a big lobbying campaign in 2021 to raise the level of immigration. For example, several GOP Senators are pushing the S.386 bill, which that would fast-track green cards — and the offer of citizenship — to more Indian migrants who take more jobs from American graduates.

The more-migration campaign has plenty of support throughout the White House.

“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mike Mulvaney, Trump’s recently departed chief of staff, told students at an elite U.K. university. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”

The labor and wages issue cuts to the heart of Trump’s presidency. He won the 2016 election on an American First” policy and swore on inauguration day he would push a “Hire American” policy.

But business interests — and his own sympathy for employers — have pushed back on his “Hire American” policy.

The result is Trump zig-zags his way forward with a mix of tough border rules and economic growth policies that have spiked stock for investors and raised wages for lower-skilled blue-collar workers. Trump sometimes boasts about the wage gains for blue collars, but his zig-zag policies have done little for white-collar college graduates — or reduce the resident population of at least one million Indian visa workers.

Voters who back Trump’s America First agenda must organize this year to defeat next year’s push for cheap labor, said Daniel Horowitz, the editor of Conservative Review. He added:

The president needs to hear from his base — now is precisely the time to stand up and not stand down out of fear of pressuring the President. … He wants to be pressured [because] it is very hard for the President to go in one direction when 100 percent of the pressure inside the administration is headed in the other direction. The mistake that Trump supporters make is they wait until it is too late to stop the President from feeling compelled to go with the swamp … The time to get to the President is early and often.

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