WASHINGTON, D.C. — On immigration, President Trump is doubling down on divisive politics — just as data indicate his administration’s policies already are steering people away from the U.S., to our detriment.
The president is planning to draft legislation that would close “immigration loopholes” and potentially alter the U.S. immigration system in fundamental ways. The proposals include ending special safeguards that prevent the immediate deportation of unaccompanied minors (UACs) arrested at the border and other changes to UAC protections, among other provisions from a White House immigration wish list released last October.
The policy plans come as the president’s reactionary politics are also causing alarm. After signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill last month that, despite multiple bipartisan proposals and negotiations, included no provisions for DACA recipients, President Trump declared via a series of tweets this weekend that there would be no deal addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. And today, he expressed a desire to militarize the border and repeated threats to change the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if Mexico does not cooperate with his immigration demands.
At the same time, the administration’s policies are tangibly harming local communities and economies: Visitor visas are down 13 percent this past year, and the U.S. Travel Association says a 3.3. percent drop in traveler spending translates to a loss of $4.6 billion and 40,000 jobs.
“The president’s immigration politics and policy are reactionary and misinformed,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Restrictive immigration measures are harming local economies and industries, and undermine the prosperity of American workers and their families. While the president’s tweets are dominating the news, his policies are changing the nation.”