Ending the process known as “chain migration” and the Diversity Visa Lottery program is the “center, mainstream view of the American people,” President Trump told GOP lawmakers on Thursday.
During the Republican Party’s retreat in West Virginia, Trump touted his administration’s White House immigration plan, which would eventually end chain migration and the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
Under chain migration, newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S., with more than nine million chain migrants arriving in the country since 2005. Likewise, the Visa Lottery doles out 50,000 visas annually to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries. The countries include those with terrorist problems, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) January 17, 2018
Trump said in his speech to GOP lawmakers that these components of his White House immigration plan were “mainstream” views held by the majority of Americans.
We want something that is very, very tough and strong, in terms of the border. We need to end chain migration, and we need to cancel the terrible visa lottery. [Emphasis added]
And those are the four pillars that I talked about the other night. We call them the White House framework — a plan that will finally bring our immigration system into the 21st Century.
The Republican position on immigration is the center, mainstream view of the American people, with some extra strength at the border and security at the border added in. What we’re asking for and what the American people are pleading for is sanity and common sense in our immigration system. We want immigration rules that protect our communities, defend our security, and admit people who will love our country and contribute to our society. [Emphasis added]
Americans, by a wide majority, want chain migration ended, and thus legal immigration levels lowered, vastly supporting the merit-based legal immigration system that Trump has pushed for.
As Breitbart News reported, a Harvard-Harris poll found that nearly 80 percent of Americans said they believe “immigration priority for those coming to the U.S. should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills—and not based on a person having relatives in the U.S.”
Additionally, 85 percent of black Americans said they supported a merit-based immigration system, rather than the current flow of chain migration. Another 72 percent of Democrat, former voters for Hillary Clinton agreed that the legal immigration system should be based on skills, not family ties.
While the Trump administration has consistently urged the Republican-controlled Congress to back a plan that ends chain migration, his White House immigration plan does not immediately end the importation of naturalized citizens’ foreign relatives.
As Breitbart News reported, the White House immigration plan allows for the entire potentially four million chain migrants waiting in the backlog of the immigration system to enter the country. This process could take 10 to 20 years before America’s working and middle class see reduced legal immigration levels to help their wages rise.
Similarly, although the White House plan would eliminate the Visa Lottery, it would reallocate the roughly 50,000 to 55,000 visas in the program to bring in more foreign workers that would compete with American workers for coveted white-collar jobs.
Every year, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from family-based chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. In 2016, the legal and illegal immigrant population reached a record high 44 million. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
Mass immigration has come at the expense of America’s working and middle class, which has suffered from poor job growth, stagnant wages, and increased public costs to offset the importation of millions of low-skilled foreign nationals.
For blue-collar American workers, mass immigration has not only kept wages down, but in many cases, decreased wages, as Breitbart News reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues importing more foreign nationals against whom working-class Americans are forced to compete. In 2016, the U.S. brought in about 1.8 million mostly low-skilled immigrants.