In White House Address, Trump Proposes Rigging Immigration System in Favor of the Wealthy

May 16, 2019

Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375, [email protected]

In White House Address, Trump Proposes Rigging Immigration System in Favor of the Wealthy

WASHINGTON — In an address at the White House Rose Garden today, President Trump outlined a sweeping immigration plan that would drastically impact family-based immigration. The proposal, known to have been drafted by Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller, would starkly alter decades of U.S. immigration policy by favoring immigrants with higher incomes and advanced academic achievement over families seeking to reunite with their loved ones.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“From the first day of his presidential candidacy, Trump has made it clear that his anti-immigrant sentiments would shape his administration. Through every one of his immigration policy changes, Trump, together with Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, is seeking to radically redefine who is worthy of being an American and what we look like as a nation. This latest announcement is part and parcel of the same strategy. This sweeping proposed change to our country’s immigration system is based not in values, but in white nationalism and an elitist belief that this country is only for the wealthy. This is not a serious policy proposal, but rather another attack on immigrant families and an effort to shape the narrative to rally his base.

“Actions speak louder than words. Behind the Rose Garden podium and beneath all the tweets, the Trump administration has been systematically dismantling our legal immigration and refugee system, bit by bit. The theatrics at the Rose Garden obfuscate the reality that this administration’s radical shift to a ‘merit-based’ system is already underway through regulatory changes that are an end-run around Congress. The biggest blow is coming shortly: a devastating wealth-test regulation targeting lawfully residing immigrant families who seek care for themselves and their children, effectively telling all but the wealthiest few that they are not welcome here.

“We at the National Immigration Law Center will continue to advocate and litigate, and also educate policymakers and our communities to prevent the worst atrocities from taking place, but the damage to immigrant communities is already being done. The Trump administration is already taking a regulatory buzz saw to our nation’s legal immigration system, and it will devastate millions of families for years to come.”