Establishment Media Rally for Chain Migration by Attacking Trump Advisers’ Family History of Legally Entering U.S.

chain migration
Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

The establishment, mainstream media is rallying for a continuation of mass immigration to the United States by attacking President Trump’s most senior adviser’s family history of legally entering the country.

The White House has focused much of its efforts in the last few months campaigning and lobbying members of Congress to back a popular initiative to end the process known as “chain migration,” whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S.

A recent poll found that the White House’s plan to shift the country’s immigration process from one based on foreign relative ties to one entirely based on an immigrant’s skills, merit, and English proficiency is vastly popular with American voters, with nearly 80 percent of the public supporting the plan, as Breitbart News reported.

The popularity of ending chain migration, though, has not kept the mainstream media from attacking the plan from an unexpected position: Going after the family ancestry of Trump’s most loyal advisers.

In a segment last month on MSNBC, host Joy Reid and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn attacked the White House plan to end chain migration, citing that senior advisers like Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino Jr. both had ancestors that legally immigrated to the U.S.

REID: Thanks to a genealogist’s investigation using, we’ve learned that some of the most vocally anti-immigration conservatives today are advocating for policies that would have kept their own families from coming to America. Politico published the results of that research on Thursday.

MENDELSOHN: The truly classic story is Dan Scavino Jr., the White House social media director. I saw him tweeting negatively about the evils of chain migration. Just from his Italian last name, I suspected there would be an immigration story, and sure enough, it was… could not have been any more classic. His great grandfather’s brother came first, followed by another brother… followed by a sister, followed by another sister, followed by their father. And they all came together and some of them lived together in New York.

Mendelsohn’s piece in Politico even published a number of documents revealing details of Trump advisers’ and supporters’ family ancestries that arrived in the U.S. together through the legal immigration process.

Mendelsohn wrote:

The good news is that while we’ve been hearing about the evils of immigration for centuries, the country appears to have continually weathered the storm. I suspect we’re going to be just fine moving forward.

After all, some of those immigrants’ descendants have even ended up in the White House.

The White House’s efforts to end chain migration, however, have been centered on the lack of support the process has with the American public, the national security vulnerabilities intertwined in chain migration, and its negative, wage-crushing impact on working and middle-class American communities.

Chain migration has imported about 9.3 million foreign nationals to the U.S. since 2005. In that same time period, a total of 13.06 million foreign nationals have entered the U.S. through the legal immigration system, as every seven out of ten new arrivals come to the country for no other purpose than to reunify with foreign relatives.

This makes chain migration the largest driver of immigration to the U.S. — making up more than 70 percent — with every two new immigrants bringing seven foreign relatives with them.

Graph: Immigrants in the US, Number and Percent, 1900-2016, Plus Census Bureau Projections to 2016

Meanwhile, mass immigration through chain migration — whereby the U.S. admits more than one million illegal and legal immigrants every year — 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.

Median earning of full-time, year-round workers, 15 years and older, 1960 to 2016.

The massive importation of low-skilled foreign nationals to the U.S. has translated to a cheap labor economy that has aided in keeping American mens’ wages stagnant for at least 44 years, as Breitbart News reported. Median earnings for American men working full-time were actually lower in 2016 than they were in 2007.

For black Americans, mass immigration through chain migration has provided a blue-collar labor market in which they are put in direct competition for Americans jobs against illegal aliens and low-skilled legal immigrants.

In 2004, Cornell University’s Vernon Briggs Jr. wrote how black Americans, specifically black American men, had suffered more than potentially any other demographic group because of mass immigration.

Briggs noted:

Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major loser in this competition are low skilled black workers. This is not surprising, since if employers have an opportunity to hire illegal immigrant workers, they will always give them preference over legal workers of any race or ethnic background. This is because illegal immigrant workers view low skilled jobs in the American economy as being highly preferable to the job opportunities in their homelands that they have left. [Emphasis added]

Likewise, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steven Camarota’s 2008 testimony before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission found a similar impact of immigration on specifically poor and working-class black American men:

Compared to white men, a much larger share of native-born black men have relatively little education. About six out of 10 adult black men have only a high school degree or failed to graduate high school, compared to about four out of 10 white men [Emphasis added]

Due to this, black American men, according to Camarota, have been put in direct competition for American jobs against illegal and legal immigrants.

In my own research I have found that blacks are more likely to be in competition with immigrants than are whites. A 1995 study by Augustine Kposowa concluded that, “non-whites appear to lose jobs to immigrants and their earnings are depressed by immigrants.” A 1998 study of the New York area by Howell and Mueller found that a 10-percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of an occupation reduced wages of black men about five percentage points. Given the large immigrant share of the occupations they studied, this implies a significant impact on native-born blacks. [Emphasis added]

Overall, 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.

For white-collar American workers, mass immigration has become a tool for the big business lobby, cheap labor industry, and Silicon Valley elites to replace U.S. citizens with cheaper foreign workers. For example, as Breitbart News reported, 71 percent of tech workers in coveted high-paying, white-collar Silicon Valley jobs are foreign-born, while the tech industry in the San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward area is made up of 50 percent foreign-born tech workers.

Trump’s effort to end chain migration, which would reduce legal immigration levels to raise the wages of American workers, was supported by Civil Rights icon and Democrat congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

In the last years of her life, in 1995, Jordan commissioned a congressional immigration study for then-President Bill Clinton which ultimately found that legal and illegal immigration to the U.S. needed to be greatly reduced as it had large-scale negative impacts on working and middle class Americans.

Jordan’s recommendations included:

  • Reducing legal immigration levels from more than one million immigrants a year to about 500,000 a year
  • End chain migration, which allows naturalized citizens to bring in an unlimited number of extended family members
  • Reducing the importation of low-skilled foreign workers who compete for U.S. jobs with poor and working-class Americans

Opponents of ending chain migration not only include the establishment media, but also the billionaire GOP mega-donors the Koch brothers, the Democratic Party, the Republican establishment, the Bush dynasty, the big business lobby, and the open borders lobby.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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