Donald Trump on Immigration
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
FactCheck: As of August 7, some 275 miles of barriers had been constructed on the US border with Mexico -- but just 5 of those miles were erected in places where no barriers had existed before. 245 miles were erected in place of old barriers, while 25 miles of new "secondary wall" were erected to fortify primary barriers. The Trump-era replacement barriers are often much larger than the older ones they are replacing.
Federal courts said the administration had acted arbitrarily when phasing out the program. The 5-4 ruling emphasized that the administration failed to provide an adequate reason to justify ending the DACA program.
After the ruling was handed down, Trump retweeted a tweet featuring Justice Clarence Thomas' dissent. The decision is "an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision," Thomas wrote. Thomas argued in his dissent that "the majority makes the mystifying determination that this rescission of DACA was unlawful. On the contrary, this is anything but a standard administrative law case."
It's still not clear exactly how the aid cutoff is going to work. According to the Washington Post, embassy officials didn't know whether the cutoff applied only to money that hadn't yet been designated for particular contracts with nongovernmental organizations or whether they were actually supposed to cancel existing contracts that had already been signed and implemented.
In its fact check of Trump's State of the Union speech, NPR relayed these assessments: "As for the 'state of our Southern border,' mayors along the Southwest border consistently say that their communities are among the safest in the nation. McAllen TX Mayor Jim Darling asserted that his city is the 3rd safest in Texas, according to FBI crime statistics, and 7th safest in the nation. 'Send social workers to process the asylum-seekers, not soldiers,' Darling said. Eddie Trevino, Cameron County judge in Brownsville, added, 'It is a misconception that the border is insecure. There is no Central American invasion. This is a manufactured crisis.' "
This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier--not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.
San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in the country. In response, and at the request of San Diego residents and political leaders, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.
"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump said. "You can definitely do it with an act of Congress, but now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order. We're the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the US for 85 years with all of those benefits. It's ridiculous, and it has to end."
An historian explained that guaranteeing automatic citizenship was the intention of the men who drafted the 14th amendment: "Read the debate in the US Senate, Jan. 30, 1866. The framers clarified that children born in the U.S. were citizens regardless of the immigration status of their parents."
The first lady's parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became American citizens this week thanks to the program. Trump's own grandfather, Friedrich Trump of Germany, and his Scottish-born mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, followed their siblings into this country.
"Calling this 'chain migration' is really outside of the ethos of what was intended," Wildes said. "This whole notion of chain migration is actually a beautiful bedrock of immigration law and policy called family reunification." The host played clips of the president calling chain migration "horrible, horrible," and a "disaster." "You bring one person in, and you end up with 32 people," the president said in one of the clips. "We have to end chain migration."
So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties--Democrats and Republicans. My duty is to defend Americans--to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.
In recent months, we met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise. [OnTheIssues note:"DREAMers" refers to DACA immigrants, who arrived in the US as minors, under the DREAM Act].
"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, Pres. Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination. The changes the Trump administration has made completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind.
Joining us in the audience tonight are very brave Americans whose government failed them. Jamiel Shaw's 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member, who had just been released from prison. The husbands of Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis--Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis--were slain in the line of duty in California, viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.
To Jamiel, Susan and Jessica: I want you to know--we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never be forgotten, we will always honor their memory.
I'm also working with the Department of Justice to being reducing violent crime. I mean, can you believe what's happening in Chicago as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot and I believe killed. Seven people, seven people, Chicago, a great American city, seven people shot and killed. We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
But Friedrich's departure ran afoul of German law. A three-year stint of military service was mandatory, and to emigrate, boys of conscription age had to get permission. The young barber didn't do so, resulting in a questionable status that would undermine any future prospect of return: Friedrich Trump was an illegal emigrant. Luckily, US officials didn't care about the circumstances under which he left Germany. US Immigration law at the time granted Germans preferred status. Friedrich was one of about a million Germans who immigrated to the United States in 1885, more than had ever before come in one year.
I understand that the vast majority of these people are honest, decent, hardworking people who came here to improve their own lives and their children's lives. Nonetheless, illegal immigration has to stop. A country that can't protect its borders isn't a country. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system places the needs of other nations ahead of our own. There is a word to describe people who do that: fools.
We also need to do what is necessary to enforce our visa regulations. People get a visa and come here legally, and when that visa expires, many stay here illegally. If they get caught, nothing happens to them. That's got to change.
TRUMP: I never said that.
Q: So this was an erroneous article the whole way around? My apologies.
Q [after commercial break]: I found where I read that before. It was from the donaldjtrump.com website and it says, "Mark Zuckerburg's personal senator, Marco Rubio has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities." Are you in favor of H-1Bs or are you opposed to them?
TRUMP: I'm in favor of people coming into this country legally. As far as the visas are concerned, if we need people they have--it's fine. They have to come into this country legally. We have a country of laws. It's fine if they come in, but they have to come in legally.
TRUMP: The 14th Amendment says very, very clearly to a lot of great legal scholars that it is wrong. It can be corrected with an act of Congress, but probably doesn't even need that. A woman gets pregnant. She's nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years? I don't think so. Mexico--and almost every other country anywhere in the world--doesn't have that. We're the only ones dumb enough, stupid enough to have it. And this is not just with respect to Mexico--people are coming from Asia to have babies here, and all of a sudden, we have to take care of the babies for the life of the baby. The 14th Amendment [should] go through the Supreme Court, but there are a lot of great legal scholars that say that is not correct.
In his January speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, Trump called for securing the southern border and indicated that he believes half of the undocumented residents in America are criminals. In 2013 at CPAC, the businessman said Republicans should block any path to citizenship or voting status for undocumented immigrants but should expand legal immigration from Europe. In addition, Trump would give a legal status to foreign students who complete a degree at an American university.
"We need strong borders. We need a wall," Trump said, addressing his solutions to the immigration issue. "The king of building buildings, the king of building walls--none of them can build them like Donald Trump."
"You have to be very, very careful, because you could say that to a certain extent the odds aren't looking so great for Republicans, that you are on a suicide mission," he said. "You are just not going to get those votes."
One out of every three federal prison inmates is a Latino, and three quarters of these are here illegally.
The majority of legal immigrants can often make significant contributions to our society because they have special skills and because they add to our nation’s cultural diversity. They come with the best of intentions. But legal immigrants do not and should not enter easily. It’s a long, costly, draining, and often frustrating experience-by design. I say to legal immigrants: Welcome and good luck.
It comes down to this: we must take care of our own people first. Our policy to people born elsewhere should be clear: Enter by the law, or leave.
TRUMP: Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels. We now have as strong a border as we've ever had. And we let people in, but they have to come in legally.
Q: But how will you reunite these kids with their families, Mr. President?
TRUMP: They used to say I built the cages, and then it was determined they were built in 2014. That was [Biden]. They built cages.
Q: Do you have a plan to reunite the kids with their families?
TRUMP: Yes. We're working on it. We're trying very hard. But a lot of these kids come out without the parents. They are so well taken care of. They're in facilities that were so clean.
Q: But some of them haven't been reunited with their families.
TRUMP: But just ask one question. Who built the cages?
We will BAN deadly Sanctuary Cities, and ensure that federal healthcare is protected for American Citizens -- not illegal aliens. We will have strong borders, strike down terrorists who threaten our people, and keep America OUT of endless and costly foreign wars.
The system is full. We can't take you anymore. Whether it's asylum, whether it's anything you want, it's illegal immigration, can't take you anymore.
For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along citizens.
To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their job or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws & defend its borders?
Other parts of the order call for hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, building facilities to hold undocumented immigrants near the Mexican border and ending "catch-and-release" protocols, in which immigrants in the United States without documentation are not detained while they await court hearings.
TRUMP: You are going to have to send people out. Look, we either have a country or we don't have a country. We are a country of laws. [Those who entered illegally are] going to have to go out and hopefully they get back. But we have no choice if we're going to run our country properly & if we're going to be a country.
KASICH: If people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who are law-abiding, who are in this country, & somehow pick them up at their house & ship them out to Mexico, think about the families. Think about the children. It's a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.
TRUMP: Dwight Eisenhower, a great president, moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border. They came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn't like it. Moved them way south. They never came back. They moved 1.5 million out. We have no choice.
TRUMP: I'll tell you right now. We have a trade imbalance of $40 billion, $45 billion with Mexico a year. We give Mexico billions of dollars a year. The wall is going to cost $6 billion or $7 billion.
Q: So tariffs?
TRUMP: No, I'm not saying that. I'll get Mexico to pay for it one way or the other. I guarantee you that.
TRUMP: Right. We're going to build the wall; we're going to create a border. We're going to let people in, but they're going to come in legally. They are going to come in legally. And it's something that can be done. They built The Great Wall of China. That's 13,000 miles. Here, we actually need 1,000, because we have natural barriers. We can do a wall. We're going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We are going to have people come in, but they are coming in legally. And Mexico is going to pay for the wall, because Mexico--I love the Mexican people, I respect the Mexican leaders, but the leaders are much sharper, smarter and more cunning than our leaders. And people say, "Oh, how are you going to get Mexico to pay?" A politician cannot get them to pay. I can.
TRUMP: I'm telling you, it's called management. You can do this and we can expedite the good immigrants to come back in. And everybody wants that. But they have to come in legally. We have to be a country of laws and borders. We have wonderful Border Patrol people, but they're not allowed to do their job. I will get the best people to build this wall and we will do it properly and we will do it humanely and get the good ones back in.
TRUMP: If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. This was not a subject that was on anybody's mind until I brought it up at my announcement. The fact is, since then, many killings, murders, crime, drugs are pouring across the border, our money going out and the drugs coming in. And I said we need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don't mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people.
It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America, and it's coming probably--probably--from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop and it's got to stop fast.
We need to be ready to build other kinds of fences, too. The point is that properly built walls work. We just need the political will to finish the job. And by the way, finishing the job will employ a lot of construction workers. Moreover, I call on Congress and the president to hire another 25,000 border patrol agents and give them the aerial equipment they need, such as Predator drones, to provide real-time aerial reconnaissance information to agents guarding the border wall.
TRUMP: We are doing something with immigration that I think is going to be very strong because we want people to come into our country. We want people to come into our country. We want them to come in--a lot of people--but we want them to come in through a legal system. Through a system that they work to come into our country. A merit system and we're working on something very hard right now. And in a very short time we're going to be announcing it. And I think it's going to have quite an impact. I think it's going to be something that actually will be popular for all.
Specifically, in referring to refugees seeking asylum in America from political persecution in their native lands, Trump stated, "You can't come in. Our country is full. What can we do? We can't handle any more. Our country's full. You can't come in, I'm sorry."
These were literally the exact words antisemitic public officials used to justify America denying entry to European Jews fleeing Nazi extermination during the Holocaust.
Christian Science Monitor explanation:The president & his supporters appear to be defining merit as highly skilled, well-educated immigrants who speak English and can support themselves. But what about strawberry pickers? Those jobs are commonly performed by low-skilled immigrants. The administration points to countries such as Canada and Australia that have supply- oriented policies. These countries have long used point systems to qualify applicants, assigning them points for education, working age, employment, language, & other skills that determine their likelihood of assimilation and contribution to the economy.
Politico.com Fact-Check: Family reunification has been the basis for immigration since 1965. Under this law, if you marry that guy you met while working in Shanghai, you can bring him home. And his 2-year-old. And when you'd like his parents to help with child care, you can bring them in too, after a few years. If we had a family immigration system without limits, this structure could theoretically lead to the dreaded chain migration. That Chinese spouse can petition for his sister, and her family, and so on. But the immigration system's waiting lists make chain migration a theory that doesn't really happen in practice. This is because each link in the chain takes years to complete. \
"Oh, great, just great," said Trump. "Really, really good. These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them."
"Donald," said Murdoch, "for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don't need your help."
"Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas."
Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas might be hard to square with his immigration promises. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, "We'll figure it out."
White House officials singled out the H-1B visa for "high-skilled" foreigners in the science and engineering industries as the priority for reform, but said a comprehensive review could lead to changes in other guest worker programs, including visas Trump's own company uses for foreign workers at his hotels, golf courses and vineyard.
The officials said reform could first come through administrative changes, such as raising the visa application fees, adjusting the wage scale to more accurately reflect prevailing salaries in the tech industry, and more vigorously enforcing violations. It could also change the lottery system to give foreigners with U.S. master's degrees a leg up. The current worker visa program has been diluted as rules have gone unenforced, the officials said.
Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others--have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.
Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers' wages, & help struggling families--including immigrant families--enter the middle class.
I believe that real & positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs & wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation's security, & to restore respect for our laws.
TRUMP: The issues brought up in your question are exactly what we should be addressing in immigration reform. If we allow individuals in this country legally to get their educations, we should let them stay if they want to contribute to our economy. It makes no sense to kick them out of the country right after they achieve such extraordinary goals.
Q: What is your opinion of recent controversy over employment and the H1-B Visa program?
TRUMP: We cannot allow companies to abuse this system. When we have American citizens and those living in the United States legally being pushed out of high paying jobs so that they can be replaced with "cheaper" labor, something is wrong. The H1-B system should be employed only when jobs cannot be filled with qualified Americans and legal residents.
TRUMP: Because nobody knows the system better than me. I know the H-1B. I know the H-2B. Nobody knows it better than me. I'm a businessman. These are laws. These are rules. We're allowed to do it. So I will take advantage of it; they're the laws. But I'm the one that knows how to change it.
Q: So what would you do with H-1B visas?
TRUMP: It's something that I frankly use and I shouldn't be allowed to use it. We shouldn't have it. Very, very bad for workers. And second of all, I think it's very important to say, well, I'm a businessman and I have to do what I have to do. When it's sitting there waiting for you, but it's very bad. It's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers. And we should end it.
TRUMP: We have at least 11 million people that came in illegally. They will go out. Some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally. It may not be a quick process, but I think that's fair. They're going to get in line with other people.
TRUMP: No. (APPLAUSE) Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to get down to creating a country that's not going to have the kind of problems that we've had with people flying planes into the World Trade Centers, with the shootings in California, with all the problems all over the world. We have to find out what's going on [with Muslim immigrants]. I said temporarily. I didn't say permanently. And I have many great Muslim friends. And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, "Donald, thank you very much; you're exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it." We have a serious problem. And we can't be the stupid country any more. We're laughed at all over the world.
TRUMP: No, not at all. I want a database for the refugees that come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don't know if they're ISIS, we don't know if it's a Trojan horse.
And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists.
Q: Just for the record, though, the statistics do show the majority of the refugees coming in are women and children.
When we have gifted people in this country we should cherish them and let them stay. But instead we fling our arms wide open to the lowlifes, the criminals, the people who have no intention to contribute to our country.
Wouldn't it be better if we invited foreign student graduating from our colleges to stay to build American companies, instead of foreign companies that will be wreaking havoc against Boeing, Caterpillar, and many other of our great American companies in the future?
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Increase Border Security Including Additional Infrastructures' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives, but now we need you
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.
Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis."
Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."
Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26
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