Con: Trump’s immigration bill that provides citizenship for DREAMers, tightens border security, cuts legal immigration

State of the Union Addresses are often used to tout a president’s upcoming agenda. While president Donald Trump certainly discussed tax cuts and trade, he also wasted no time unveiling a new, four-pronged immigration plan. Trump is bargaining with Democrats. In exchange for offering protections to DACA DREAMers, Trump is demanding $25 billion for his border wall and other protections, an end to the visa diversity lottery and the end of “chain migration.”
What Trump may not realize is that this plan hurts more than it helps, and therefore should not be passed in its current form.
By limiting immigration, Trump believes he is helping America economically. After all, a recurring talking point he used during his campaign was that immigrants are “stealing jobs.” According to the Huffington Post, however, the opposite is true. Immigrants are more likely to start businesses than the average American, which, in turn, creates more jobs boosting the economy. 
What’s more startling is that, according to the National Foundation of American Policy, 51 percent of U.S. companies valued over $1 billion had immigrant founders. Also, the jobs that immigrants take up are often ones that Americans would not do, making them a vital part of our economic stability.  
Another reason why Republicans and Trump say the plan is needed is to prevent killings carried out by gangs like MS-13, whose members are mostly immigrants. While there is no denying that the gang killings are horrible, when put into scale, MS-13 is small in the United States. According to the Huffington Post, MS-13 gang members represent only one percent of the number of criminally active gang members nationwide.
It is also important not to paint all undocumented immigrants with the same brush. A study by the libertarian Cato Institute found that illegal immigrants were 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. Legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. 
In January, the Department of Homeland Security put out a report that falsely stated that that immigrants who came into the United States through the visa diversity lottery were more likely to be tied to terrorist attacks. The Cato Institute disputed this claim when it found that found that lottery visa holders actually killed only eight out of the 3,037 Americans killed by foreign-born terrorists since 1975.
 And, while the plan hurts America economically and does not make a large dent against crime, perhaps the worst part of the policy is that it is grossly un-American. Despite a few bumps in the road, America has largely attempted to make immigration more fair and humane.  That is why we have ended programs like the Chinese Exclusion Act and why we created programs like the Visa Diversity Lottery. Ending the diversity lottery would shoot us in the opposite direction. Despite its shortcomings, many people argue that those who are standing in the way of Trump’s plan, Democrats in Congress, should take Trump’s grand bargain.
But, when looking at the cards that Democrats are giving up — measures that would, according to the Financial Times, halve U.S. immigration and give Trump $25 billion in funding for a possible border wall — it should be clear that they should ask Trump to cut a better deal.  And while Trump says there is no budging room with the plan, objections from both parties, including from Republican senators like Lindsey Graham,  should make it clear that it must be restructured.
As the debate over immigration rages on the senate floor, members of both parties should remember that immigration boosts, not hinders, the economy, has historically been supported, not rejected in the U.S and that any plan that halves the amount of U.S. immigration must be declined.

Comments are closed.