Trump’s New Approach on Legal Immigration: Only the Privileged Need Apply

While Donald Trump has loudly attacked the low-hanging fruit that is illegal immigration, his administration has quietly implemented a xenophobic crackdown on legal immigrants.

According to a now-famous report in January 2018, an exasperated Trump asked Senate leaders gathered in the Oval Office to discuss reforms to the legal immigration system: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Nearly two years after first outlining his push against people from those so-called countries legally emigrating to the U.S., the president finally followed up on his threats and introduced a sweeping immigration reform plan. It was immediately panned by his own party.

“We seem to never fail to miss an opportunity to fail,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, of the effort to overhaul the legal immigration system. The plan, crafted by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and top White House adviser Stephen Miller, would slash legal immigration in certain categories without expanding it anywhere else. Under Trump’s “merit-based” proposal, immigrants would be selected through a point-based system that scores for “extraordinary talent, professional and specialized vocations, and exceptional academic track records.” But it appears dead on arrival in the Republican-led Senate.

Now, shortly after Trump’s threats to impose blunt new tariffs on Mexico (since retracted) unleashed a new round of outcry from Republicans in Congress, his administration has begun implementing the immigration agenda he could not get passed legislatively.

The State Department announced this week a major change to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which Trump has repeatedly maligned. The first new rule requires applicants to already have a passport at the time of application. The second mandates that any typographical error on the application results in immediate, unappealable disqualification.

Now, shortly after Trump’s threats to impose blunt new tariffs on Mexico (since retracted) unleashed a new round of outcry from Republicans in Congress, his administration has begun implementing the immigration agenda he could not get passed legislatively.

The State Department announced this week a major change to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which Trump has repeatedly maligned. The first new rule requires applicants to already have a passport at the time of application. The second mandates that any typographical error on the application results in immediate, unappealable disqualification.

Trump’s proposal to circumvent Congress in pursuit of crushing this program is in line with his notion of wanting fewer people from the “shithole” countries — effectively anywhere in the global South — and more from rich white countries in Europe. Depending on the country, passports can be logistically and financially difficult to come by, so this new requirement will reduce the number of applicants — with poor applicants and those from rural areas likely taking the biggest hit.

Trump’s proposal to circumvent Congress in pursuit of crushing this program is in line with his notion of wanting fewer people from the “shithole” countries — effectively anywhere in the global South — and more from rich white countries in Europe. Depending on the country, passports can be logistically and financially difficult to come by, so this new requirement will reduce the number of applicants — with poor applicants and those from rural areas likely taking the biggest hit.

By SOPHIA TESFAYE for SALON

Read Full Article HERE

Share this post

Post Comment