Today’s Trump Immigration Proposal

The writings of Mark Krikorian are always interesting, thoughtful and measured, so I read with interest his commentary,  The Art of the Choke, on the new immigration proposal from the White House. Though the essay is well-reasoned, I disagree. Unlike Mark’s sarcastic allusion to Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, I regard the proposal as potentially an excellent example of good deal making.

Mark’s objections seem to be that (a) the proposal would give amnesty — er, I mean a path to citizenship 🙂 — to many more unauthorized immigrations than just the DACAers, and (b) while the proposal would stop chain migration it would grandfather those already in the queue. Processing the latter would not complete “until after President Kamala Harris’s successor takes office,” as Mark cleverly puts it.

Concerning (b), I have always been a firm believer in making grandfather exceptions to new policy. It is a matter of keeping one’s word (not to mention avoiding lawsuits), and one must look at  long term benefit. Moreover, some of the new policy would have effect much sooner than the Krikorian time horizon, especially in terms of the immigration of parents of U.S. citizens, one of the most costly of current immigration policies. (I’m assuming the bill would allow the parents long-term visitor visas, as in Canada, and as with the RAISE Act, a bill endorsed by the White House.)

Regarding (a), it seems to me that this could turn out to be a brilliant move, “an offer the Democrats can’t refuse.” If they were to refuse it, and the deal ultimately cut were to include only the DACAers, the Latino activists would be livid — and with long memories. No, this is one they need to accept, quickly before you-know-who changes his mind.

Maybe a “bridges and tunnels” guy can run the country after all.


49 thoughts on “Today’s Trump Immigration Proposal

  1. The devil is in the details. And once we pass this new Amnesty, the next Democrat who comes into office will likely blow a hole in this like the Titanic.

    We shaft our own lower and middle classes. I believe it was you, Dr. Matloff, who years ago noted that illegal immigrants from south of the border had driven (as one example) African American women out of the hotel maid business, lowered those wages, and removed benefits.

    This Amnesty will spur more migration, and more fraud in the DACA program. Will 1.8 million be a hard limit? Even Cesar Chavez was against illegal immigration, and Senator Barbara Jordan espoused a 5-year hiatus on all immigration.

    On a related debate I googled crime statistics, and what I read is that DACA recipients commit crimes at 200% (twice) of our average rate. The average DACA individual isn’t a student, but a fast food worker or laborer, in a time when we need neither and such an influx suppresses wages (simple supply and demand).

    Politically, we may need something, I’d prefer the original 800,000 request. Transfer the $25 Billion for the Wall into a Trust fund, and add a poison pill if the Liberals sabatoge the Wall and border security. Drugs and gangs are taking a heavy toll, and the GAO in 2 different reports estimates 5,000 homicides a year by illegal immigrants.

    We are systematically killing our blue collar trades on one end (no one seems to care), and doing the same on the other end (huge increase in H1B Visas.)

    What happened to America First?


    • I don’t know whether the replacement of black janitors was by legal or illegal immigrants.

      It is a foregone conclusion that some kind of DACA deal will be made. If ending chain migration can be made part of the deal, I regard it as a good thing, a chain migration also impacts the lower and middle classes.


      • There won’t be any end or even slowdown to chain migration. The next two (two!) Democratic president will reverse that long before it kicks in after 2030. That part of this deal is never meant to happen.

        And there’s nothing wrong with taking parents of immigrants. We’re a rich country and paying for parents is no problem. It’s the immigration of people that will bear more children and cost us for infinite generations that is expensive.


        • I don’t have the exact number at hand, but supposedly something like 80% of the medical expenses incurred by a person arise during the last two years of life. In the case of parents of immigrants, these are typically people who never work a day in their life, no contribution to Social Security, and yet will eventually draw SSI cash, Medicare health benefits, subsidized senior housing etc.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes there is. Are you aware that in certain instances parents can claim SS survivors benefits for their lifetime!!!

          Parents, after 5 years, are eligible for Medicaid and SSI and all of the imcome based entitlements. In my town there are doctors who will not take new patients on Medicare but will take people om Medicais so my DH who worked for over 40 years is not considered and the elderly person who has never done anything for the US is.

          After following immigration for 12 years I regularly see questions about putting newly arrived family members on Medicaid.

          If you want to be near your parents, go to their home country. They ARE a burden to out social welfare and health care system.


        • You may be rich , but I am supporting a disabled child. He deserves funding NOT parents of people who CHOOSE to come to the US. I’ll send you the address for your support checks.


      • When I lived in L.A. a few decades ago, there were stories in the L.A. Times about “sub-sub-sub-contractors”. What a lot of the big chain grocery stores (they M&A’d themselves down to 3 chains controlling about 90% of the grocery market) did was to hire a contractor to provide cleaning services. The contractor would hire a sub-contractor, who in turn would bring in below-minimum-wage Mexicans to do the cleanup work. The original contract was skimmed champagne-glass-tower style, until there was very little left to pay the people actually doing the work. The sub-cons of course made no check of legal status, provided no health care or other benefits, and even required the workers to pay for their own uniforms and safety equipment.

        The sub-con process builds a “wall” or “moat” around the workplace, so individual workers (particularly poor blacks living in the same neighborhood as the stores that are being cleaned!) can’t get an interview for a cleaning-crew job. The guy doing the interviews is a couple of levels (and companies) away from the people managing the store — the store manager is not allowed to hire somebody for that job even if they wanted to.

        All of this is enabled by the chaotic immigration system.


  2. I am not happy with what I have learned so far. Several of the proposals are contrary to my beliefs for what is best for American citizens.

    I believe the standard of living for all but the top 1% will go down with the low income being hurt the most. I believe fewer middle income and upper middle income families will have children at the replacement level due to the increase that will be needed in taxes at all levels to support the newcomers. The educational and intellectual ability of the country as a whole will go down.

    Immigration in tearing the country apart. Something must be done. For this reason, I believe that compromise is essential. However, I do not believe that the immigration activists will be happy with anything other than total capitulation to their demands. Even a generous agreement will not stop illegal presence due to border crossers or overstays – especially by those who no longer qualify for chain migration benefits. I expect continuing demands and threats of violence from advocates of open borders and unlimited immigration.

    Will immigrants still want to come to the US when our standard of living is little more than that in the Third World and when the dangers of living here are great since we will be the target of those opposing whatever form of democracy exists at that time.

    My grandchildren(2-12) will never know a life as adults comparable to mine or even their parents. Then again with the attacks on our people and way of life, that may be a moot point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • New immigrants, having stood in the queue for a long, long wait, are surprised when I tell them long ago, US immigrant used to mean citizen from day 1. That no, $10 an hour is not the going rate for an engineer with a bachelors degree.
      Visa’d and illegal labor is for benefit of industry, the creation of a second class labor force. And yes, to supplant US workers and wages.
      Ds are putting it on the line for open borders, which is likely to blow up in their faces.
      Rs, no better, they’ve had the reins many times over in the past 25 years, since last big amnesty, Reagan’s, and have done nothing.


  3. I agree with your analysis – and as a Trump supporter myself, good to see some respect for his brain.

    First I thought 2 million Amnesty? But many of those are never leaving anyway. In exchange we end the visa lottery (over 100k per year including family) and the endless extended family visa. I like that it will stick it to all the anchor-baby parents that think “when my kid grows up he can petition me to USA.” 🙂

    The wall? I don’t think we need it in most places. A “DMZ” of a mile of scattered barb wire might be more effective.

    As you say Dems are now ln a lose-lose. They reject the deal and DACA get mad, or they accept it and others are mad.

    Wish “end anchor baby” was also part of the deal.

    Hoping Trump can get to the H-1b issue, but he’s busy defending against a witch hunt.


  4. So, we’re told it’s for 1.8 million “Dreamers”. But the recent study by the Migration Policy Institute suggests that the REAL number may be closer to 4 million. The actual number will really depend on the age cut offs, if any. Also, I sure hope any bill would contain a lot more stringent requirements than DACA itself did–real background checks, public charge requirements, at least high school COMPLETION and maybe even have them to take a test of English proficiency, such as TOEFL.


  5. Having supported Trump with my vote and more money than I gave Reagan I consider this a stab in the back. Reading the comments of pro-DACA articles that are almost universally pro amnesty it looks like the people commenting are more of a mind to send them packing than the polls sited in the articles would suggest. I suspect the next generation of illegal immigrants have already started to pack for their trip here on this news. And why not? The expectation of some kind of accommodation is totally reasonable.

    ‪A husband and wife put their kid in the car and go rob a bank. They get caught but the money is not found. The bank keeps looking for the money and years later find that the kid has it.‬

    ‪Does the kid get to keep the money? ‬

    ‪The logical extension of the pro DACA argument is yes. They are saying that the children whose parents stole entry into this country get to become citizens. ‬

    ‪Allowing them to stay harms Americans born here. Any seat in college that one of them takes would go to an American if not taken by a DACA kid. Their public education comes at more than $10,000 a year. Any job held by a DACA kid would go to an American if they were not here. In fact any and all humanitarian considerations extended to DACA kids comes as an expense of harm to Americans.‬

    ‪DACA is a hole in the border. We can not have a secure border if ways around it exist. Ignoring our border is like gambling with other people’s money. If you lose you are deported and are no worse off than if you had never tried. If you win you win big getting to stay here and citizenship.‬

    ‪Supporters of DACA are being generous with assets that are not theirs to give away. Our existing immigration laws were passed by elected representatives of the people. Those who want to change them by granting amnesty to illegal aliens can not muster the votes to do so. So they refuse to supply the resources needed to enforce existing law. In so doing they abandon the rule of law and the problem grows.‬

    ‪I say deport them.‬ Their arrogance, sense of entitlement, waving foreign flags, harm done to my country, and the 1986 amnesty has ended all my compassion for them.


    • I have NEVER bought that argument, “These kids [not all of them kids by now] are here for no fault of their own.” Lots of children suffer the consequences of their parents’ actions, of whatever sort. But that doesn’t mean that I necessarily oppose legislation that allows them to stay. Ditto for the sense of entitlement etc. shown by some of them.

      As I have said before, the humane solution, yes somewhat of a compromise, would be to give them a new kind of green card that is not convertible to citizenship. I would strongly support this, but that has not been seriously considered, as far as I know.

      Ending chain migration is a very high priority with me. (I am not interested in having a Wall, by the way.) So, all in all, I think the proposal is a good compromise.


      • I suppose they could get a “yellow card” like in soccer. If they get involved in serious crime, they are given a “red card” and must leave. I suppose there would be no language barrier, either, since almost every other country in the world has soccer instead of NFL — so they would know what those cards mean.


      • With amnesty as proposed or in any other form the wall is a waste of resources. What needs to happen is that foreigners need to be convinced that illegal entry into this country will not be tolerated. I believe that there is no way to accomplish that that would be considered humane. Every optimization program I have ever used has used the exact same wording in an error message: “No feasible solution.”

        If a solution to illegal immigration is to be constrained to be humane (with deportation defined as not humane) then I do not believe a solution exists. Any solution that meets the requirement to be humane invites more illegal entry into this country. Consider illegal entry form the standpoint of someone in the countries Trump disparaged. That person sees others illegally entering the USA and getting some form of humane treatment. Why not give it a try? I would.


        • We’ve illegal immigrants from Canada, the EU, Brazil, etc.
          Just because Ds paint all illegal immigration and deportation as tramatic inhumane return to war zones doesn’t mean that’s true.
          Just because Ds purport “brought here through no fault of their own”, which flies in the face of “unaccompanied minors from Central America”, doesn’t make it true.


    • If Trump signs any kind of amnesty bill I will consider my vote for him wasted. These immigrants will never stop coming if all they have to do is hide out long enough to get amnesty. The wall is also not going to stop them. The entire Gulf of Mexico is an open border and they will use it along with the other coasts. You only have to look at Cuban immigration in Florida to see how effective water routes can be.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Any deal has to include a secure border wall.

    Here in Oregon we are about 1000 miles from the Mexican border. We are still having a problem with illegal immigrant crime. Here’s the report from the Oregon Dept. of Corrections and some excerpts:

    An analysis of data from the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) shows that nearly 49 percent of the 973 criminal aliens in state prisons have been convicted of sex crimes.

    All 973 have Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers on them.

    According the report “Approximately one in every fifteen prisoners incarcerated by the state was a criminal alien, 6.60 percent of the total prison population.”

    The analysis was compiled by Oregon immigration policy researcher David Olen Cross.

    ICE detainers make up 39.32 percent of the state’s incarcerated sex offenders.

    The report found 376 sex related crimes that include 200 cases of sex abuse, 175 cases of rape, and 101 cases of sodomy.

    Other crimes topping the list for criminal illegal aliens were homicide (136), drugs (97), assault (76), and robberies (52).


  7. Dr. Matloff, what is your reasoning behind being against a Wall?

    The US-Mexico border is the largest unprotected border between a First World and Poor Country on Earth. This isn’t Mexico 1965 or 1975. Mexico is now the most dangerous country on the planet, and serves as the easy gateway for massive amounts of hard drugs into our country (meth, heroin, opiods, cocaine). And this from The City Journal:

    “In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.”

    Certainly we owe poor Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans more than illegal entrants from other nations.

    Liberals shaft us on the low end, and the GOP shafts on the upper end (H1B Visas). I love everybody, but my loyalty is to Americans first. And we rob Central America of their Fathers, leaving their families to be exploited by ruthlessly violent drug gangs. It’s a vicious cycle, and many men here “play the field”, further splintering children on both sides.

    Your proposal of a legal residency is interesting, but we know once Democrats gain power, they will legalize Millions of new voters for their party / power. We will become less “diverse”.


    • Universal E-Verify is quite sufficent, no Wall needed.

      And while it is true that future Congresses could rescind Universal E-Verify, it is so inherently reasonable that they would have a tough time explaining it.


      • E-Verify is a good step, but still only a partial solution.
        Tons of off-the-books jobs. I found it interesting that as Los Angeles’ population boomed, revenues decreased.

        I’ve seen house cleaners, painters, carpenters, landscaping all paid cash. I have a friend who is successful in construction, he hired a professional pool crew on weekends and holidays to install his custom pool. $1,000 a day to the leader of the crew. No workers comp, no insurance, nothing.

        30 years from now these workers will have lower Social Security payments. The Wall would also slow drugs and crime.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, the details of who E=Verify applies to would have to be defined well.

          As to drugs and crime, I agree the wall would be beneficial. But I worry about the symbolism a wall would entail.


        • I agree with Dr Matloff whole heartedly in this post (and others).
          To me the wall is almost entirely for curbing drugs and crime not for illegal immigration.
          I look at push-pull factors and the net new numbers of people entering and competing for good middle class jobs. This is the H1B and EB green cards which have the most destructive effect on US citizen’s prospects. Not DACA who will never leave one way or the other and are limited whether 800K or 2M.
          I consider Mexico in separate category given the land border and natural cross-border movements. It is a relatively affluent and small pool of people who have been in the SW since the beginning of USA.
          China and India sub-continents are vastly larger of almost 3 billion and can overwhelm the USA if allowed either via chain migration or merit based or both. For almost 2B people there even a very modest American life would be a vast improvement. Add African continent and there is vast dam of people pushing to migrate to the west and will constitute the next wave of mass immigration (if they are found to be reliable Democrats).


    • Remember seeing an interview with a sheriff or police chief near Phoenix. He said that they had 60+ hot vehicle pursuits in one month. They were all illegal immigrants.


  8. If there is no public will – nor dubious practicality – in deporting DACA (800,000), or all Dreamers (3,400,00) then how in the world is mandatory E-Verify going to work? Suppose it were made the law tomorrow. It would put the spotlight on the rest of the putative 12 million illegals ‘living in the shadows.’ We know the drama to follow if millions were suddenly unable to work and earn a living: Democrats will be racing to support the ‘immigrant’ victims in their Districts, and we will be inundated by endless weeping reports on NPR and NYT, etc., etc.

    E-Verify is critical in preventing FUTURE illegal immigration – ‘turning off the jobs magnet’, but how do we get there given the foreseeable immediate consequences?


    • And common sense means we probably have anywhere from 20- 45 Million here illegally.

      Recall in 1986, the government estimated 1 Million, and 3.5 Million signed up for Amnesty. Democrats have big incentives to underestimate these numbers.

      One solution Dr. Bill Wattenburg suggested on KGO radio years ago was to require visitors on visas to deposit $3,000 before entering the country. Overstay the visa, forfeit the money. (Unless verified medical emergency.)


      • That’s not an answer. Illegal immigrants via visa overstay would gladly pay $3K to live in the US.
        We’ve foreign workers who pay for their work visas instead of their employers.
        You vastly underestimate the manipulation of our pourous laws and pourous enforcement of them.


    • The Political Class and financially well-to-do are do far removed from the concerns and struggles of American workers and families that they have no concept of the results of their actions. They live in gated communities with security services, fly on private planes, and expect those they view as inferior to bow to their every wish and word.

      I am reminded of a high school student whose family I know slightly expounding in multiple editorials in our local paper on immigration, Medicaid and support for refugees. Not only has this child not held a job, but the annual tuition at his private school exceeds the poverty level income for a family of three. He feels entitled to decree to his elders how their hard earned money will be spent while his family of three has a home the size of 6 typical apartments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rajan, I’ll tell you how in the world we got here.

      Immigration in USA was limited to whites coming in as free persons and black slaves being brought to work the plantations. USA enacted several anti-immigration acts like the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, not allowing immigration of women of Chinese heritage, the list goes on.

      It wasn’t until the Immigration Act of 1965, that yellow and brow people (Like you!) could respectfully immigrate and become US citizens. The absence of non-black colored people with slavery and systemic subjugation of blacks for such a large part of US history has caused a white-only hegemony in most US power structures.

      So any anti-immigration rhetoric is viewed as an attempt to keep the status quo of white-supremacy intact. This is why Democrats blame you to be white-supremacist – hope fully you are an accidental white-supremacist.

      Hope this explains; also please, stop with the self-hate.


      • Except for Latinos in the Southwest, and a large Chinese population on the West Coast, and Japanese immigrants, and Hispanics on the East Coast.


      • “Immigration in USA was limited to whites coming in as free persons”
        Racist rhetoric.
        Whites were shipped over as indentured. Literally, indigent and orphans taken from the streets of England and shipped over. Servitude indenture inherited by offspring and spouse, if they hadn’t worked off their ‘debt’, payment for having been shipped over.
        Immigration Act of 1965 kicked off more trafficking, visa indentured. Which proliferates to this day.
        Here’s Modi, trafficking India’s population, for remittances:
        Apparently it’s not racist that near 100% of H1B visas are for Asian.


      • International Student,

        You either have selective memory or you’re just plain ignorant.

        Immigration in USA was limited to whites coming in as free persons and black slaves being brought to work the plantations.

        It wasn’t until the Immigration Act of 1965, that yellow and brow people (Like you!) could respectfully immigrate and become US citizens.

        Many Chinese and other Asians as well as Hispanics immigrated to the US in the 1800s, some to build the railroads and others for the Gold rush. Filipinos came in the early 1900s to work in the fields in Hawaii. A lot of them became citizens. Filipinos joined the US military in the 40s and 50s and also became citizens.

        A famous example from the 1800s are the Siamese twins from Siam/Thailand:

        In 1839, while visiting Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the brothers were attracted to the area and purchased a 110-acre (0.45 km2) farm in nearby Traphill.

        Determined to live as normal a life they could, Chang and Eng settled on their small plantation and bought slaves to do the work they could not do themselves.[9] Using their adopted name “Bunker”, they married local women on April 13, 1843. Chang wed Adelaide Yates (1823-1917), while Eng married her sister, Sarah Anne (1822-1892). The twins also became naturalized American citizens.

        There were free Blacks who owned slaves, there were white slaves, and as the example I gave above with the twins, Asians who also owned slaves.

        So please stop with this BS that you keep pulling out of thin air and your flawed logic that you stretch to accommodate your flawed view of the world.


    • Rajan,

      That’s a good question.

      The Democrats of the 90s, 80s, 70s and 60s would not be accepted in the Democrat Party today. They would consider JFK a conservative. Take a look at Bill Clinton’s speech from the mid 90s. We can even look at the speeches by Obama and Hillary from the mid 2000s and see that they were against this level of immigration let alone illegal immigration.

      I think we got here because of Obama and Hillary. Obama opened the floodgates and Hillary followed on it. We can look at the sources of money that went into Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, the lobbying money spent during Obama’s presidency and the money that went into Hillary’s 2016 campaign and the welcoming arms of both towards the radical left or at least their laissez-faire attitude for it. And of course Soros throwing his money into the ring.


  9. This proposal from WH does indeed seem to have Stephen Miller’s blessing, and all the pro American groups that have our back can take a hike/go back to their echo chambers. The very fact that it’s an idea that Miller has entertained makes me mad.

    Or, it could be a feeler put out by WH so it can be trashed enough by Monday and then it will be taken off the table.


  10. Breitbart News claims to have a 250-page draft of the proposed Amnesty Bill.

    They title it: “Trump’s Draft Amnesty: Unlimited, Forever, and Before a Wall Is Built”

    It supposedly lines up with his recent comments, and gives big business a steady supply of cheap labor.

    The article also claims the $25 Billion for the Wall is contributed over 5 years, which gives it plenty of time to be sabatoged.

    Further, they’ve crafted a wide definition (“tactical infrastructure”) of how the funds can be used, i.e. non-Wall items. Pork through the roof.

    It sounds like big business Amnesty lobbyists wrote it.


  11. Dr. Matloff, all the press descriptions of the proposal specifically mention “high skill” immigrants. My interpretation of that verbiage is “H1-B”. Are you certain that this proposal does NOT address H1-B?


  12. The biggest threat to the middle class Americans, and something that the mainstream media is not covering, is the whole H1b visa manipulation and EB Green Card manipulation. Everyone, including congress has troubled themselves with illegal immigration, but the vast majority have been duped into thinking that H1b is still bringing in “high skilled” foreign folks.
    While all the folks trouble themselves regarding Illegal immigrants and DACA, H1bs and EB GC folks, predominantly from India are trying to scam the system in their favor. As someone mentioned here, the population of India and China is huge. Just imagine the devastation such a mass influx would do to the Western nation both culturally, and economically. To make matters worse, the merit based system they are proposing wants to get rid of country quota restrictions. India and China would immediately flood that portal. The H1b got easily hacked by the Indians, so will be the fate of any proposed merit-based system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are getting shafted on both ends. The Union prevailing wage for a carpenter in Northern California is approximately $45 an hour. Some illegal immigrants carpenters will charge $15-20 an hour, cash. (The quality is a gamble.) Take that across all the “trades”.

      The security risk in hi tech is a giant issue unto itself, especially with the widespread practice of piracy in China. There is an ongoing imbroglio with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC Pakistani family that was providing IT services.

      The State of the Union speech may provide more information.


        • “The hearing discussed elaborate efforts to control Chinese students in America.”
          Chinese students raised the same issue when China/WTO status was being discussed.
          Industry sees foreign students and immigrants no only as economic cheap labor, “easiest” stimulation of consumer market, but also as business ties back to where they came from.
          And its likely to be the case of biting off more than they can chew, in so many forms.


        • ps – I asked Chinese coworkers why, unlike so many immigrants, they say little about where they came from. They said for the safety of their families back in China. Most immigrants I’ve met through the years pine over homeland flowers, food, etc., but not a word from Chinese.


          • I think you are overinterpreting the situation. Yes, they may not express their political opinions about China for that reason, but the main reason they don’t mention home is that they are truly happy here, due to economic opportunities and education for their children.


  13. I don’t like this proposal at all. Bumping up the number to 1.8M from Obama’s 600k and giving them a path to citizenship in 12 years is a complete 180 from his campaign speeches.

    But we have to ask: what would Pres Trump have done if he/the GOP had a super-majority in Congress or in this case the Senate, so he wouldn’t have to do this “deal-making” move which could just be an opening chess move.


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