NEW YORK – The Trump administration is expanding its war on legal immigration yet again with its focus this time on “chain migration,” a costly loophole that allows a legal immigrant to bring in relatives even if they are unskilled and destined to go on welfare.
According to the Washington Examiner, a package released by the White House finds that there are no benefits to this practice and has instead put a $300 billion annual cost on this type of immigration, claiming that “the overwhelming number of relatives let in do not have proper job skills and indicated that there is virtually no end to the ‘chain’ that can be tapped to enter the U.S.”
“Despite being a modern economy, the United States awards most of its green cards on an antiquated system of family ties, not skill or merit. This system of Chain Migration—whereby one immigrant can bring in their entire extended families, who can bring in their families and so on—de-skills the labor force, puts downward pressure on wages, and increases the deficit,” a White House official told Breitbart News in a statement.
“Chain Migration also undermines national security, by failing to establish merit-based criteria for evaluating entrants into the United States—instead, familial relations are all that is required to obtain a green card and, in turn, become a voting U.S. Citizen within a short period of time, with access to Federal welfare and government benefits,” the official added.
The White House distributed several charts showing the impact of “chain migration.”
One chart showed that a single immigrant could be responsible for getting another 120 into the country legally and that over the last decade, the White House states that 9.3 million immigrants have come in via family ties, which are more than the populations of Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Cleveland combined.
Another chart showed that of all that are given temporary green card status, 65 percent come in because of family ties, not because they are needed in the workforce or are refugees and once in the U.S., the White House warned that many can become a fiscal burden on taxpayers and eventually get voting rights.
The call to end “chain migration” came last week from President Donald Trump when he announced that the Bangladeshi national Akayed Ullah, who is convicted of a failed terrorist attack in New York City this month, came into the U.S. in 2011 through extended-family immigration process.
“As President, my greatest duty is to protect our nation and to protect our people. As we have witnessed recently, America faces grave threats. Terrorists have struck in the streets and subways of New York City twice in a few months. Both terrorists came to our country through the dysfunctional immigration system that we are correcting, and rapidly. And one came through chain migration,” Trump said in remarks at the FBI National Academy Graduation Ceremony.
“We’re calling for Congress to end chain migration and to end the visa lottery system, and replace it with a merit-based system of immigration. We want a system that puts the needs of American families, taxpayers, and security first,” he added.
According to the Breitbart News, since 2005, the U.S. has imported more than 140,000 Bangladesh nationals through chain migration, and over the last decade, 1.7 million chain migrants have entered the country from Mexico along with 600,000 from India, 600,000 from the Philippines, 500,000 from China and 177,000 from Pakistan.
The Breitbart News also reported that more than 117,000 have come from terrorist-funded countries with more than 80,000 from Iran, nearly 30,000 from Syria and more than 8,000 from Sudan.
However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Lee Francis Cissna, the Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have yet to take this issue seriously.
In August, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) introduced a Trump endorsed legislation known as the RAISE Act, which would officially end chain migration, thus cutting annual legal immigration levels in half, taking them from more than one million immigrants a year to 500,000 a year.
This move would also raise wages for American workers and stabilize the U.S. population but has not yet been brought up by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Likewise, the SECURE Act, which was introduced this month by a group of Senators led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would end chain migration, but ties the issue to giving amnesty to nearly 800,000 illegal aliens who have been shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Though the SECURE Act was designed to be a compromise between the Trump administration and the Republican establishment, by giving DACA illegal aliens amnesty while also ending chain migration, the legislation was immediately shut down by Democrats and has not been pushed as even a remote possibility by McConnell.
Overall the bottom line from the White House is:
Most green cards in the United States are awarded based on an antiquated system of family ties, not skill or merit. This system of chain migration – whereby one immigrant can bring in their entire extended families, who can bring in their families and so on – de-skills the labor force, puts downward pressure on wages, and increases the deficit. Chain migration also undermines national security, by failing to establish merit-based criteria for evaluating entrants into the United States – instead, familial relations are all that is required to obtain a green card and, in turn, become a voting U.S. citizen within a short period of time, with access to federal welfare and government benefits.