During his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump spoke directly to the American people — and bypassed the media — in laying out where the country is and what the future holds. While the president rattled off an impressive array of first-year accomplishments, one of the most anticipated topics was his immigration plan.
The president outlined four “pillars” of his proposal: 1) a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants; 2) securing the border; 3) ending the visa lottery; and 4) ending chain migration. While most Americans understand the concept of a pathway to citizenship (a.k.a. amnesty) and securing the border, two of the president’s pillars are more elusive: chain migration and the visa lottery.
Even those who are well informed about immigration have a hard time getting their minds around the term chain migration. Of course, Democrats like Senators Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand now claim that the term is racist and hurtful (because of the word “chain” or something), but the reality is that the term simply polls poorly. More on that in a moment. In any case, the Democrats’ phony “racism” charge reveals just how little they care about solving the problem. (Especially given how much they’ve used the term before.)
Chain migration allows green card holders or legal residents to sponsor family members for immigration. CBS News adds that it’s “the most common legal form of immigration to the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 238,087 immigrants were categorized as a ‘family-sponsored preference' in 2016 and 566,706 came as 'immediate relatives of U.S. citizens’ (spouses, children, or parents). Between 60 and 70 percent of all lawful permanent immigration to the United States in the past decade has family-based roots.”
Despite what many Americans believe, the president isn’t seeking an end to family-based immigration altogether. Instead, he wants to limit it to immediate family members. As the president stated during his address, “This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America.”