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Legal immigrants rejected by Trump

by Breonnah Colon - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 08:00 pm

Imagine living in a war torn country; a country where its citizens are afraid to stand up for their human rights because if they do, they may face extreme punishment that ranges from excessive jail time to death. Imagine living in a country where you have no say in how you live your life, you have to do everything the government tells you to or you face persecution, or living in a country where there’s an extreme drought and there’s not way to grow food or have access to safe drinking water. 

What would you do? Would you try to leave? 

Imagine trying to move on to a better, happier life where you and your family could be safe and not have to worry about being targeted. Imagine, your only solace being barred from you, not because you’ve done anything wrong, but because the government of this new place feels there are too many people like you in their own country.

That’s the situation that may face millions of potential immigrants attempting to enter the United States if President Trump has his way. Many people are aware of Trump’s extremely negative view of immigrants entering the country illegally,  and how could they not be? It’s almost all he talks about besides ISIS and how bad of a job former President Barack Obama did. 

Trump’s views on illegal immigration are not profound and, in fact, there are millions of Americans, politicians or otherwise, who both support and share his view. The idea of illegal immigration puts many Americans on edge because they are terrified of being uprooted by “foreigners.”

While I don’t agree with the ideas of such Americans, I can certainly understand their perspective, however, Trump recently pushed immigration reform a little further. Rather than focus solely on diminishing illegal immigration, Trump has expressed his support for legislation which would also decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter the country by nearly 50 percent according to MSNBC.

The bill, introduced in February by two Republican senators, would change the system currently in place and replace it with a “merit based” system, the aforementioned article goes on to explain. Some major points of change would be a focus on the ability to speak English, age and education. The plan is said to cut the number of legal immigrants entering the country by half in the time span of 10 years.

Of course, Trump has already worked to limit the number of migrants from Muslim-majority countries as well as the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the country, so I don’t really know how it’s even possible that this, for some odd reason, would shock me. I could understand the argument against illegal immigration, but the idea of shutting out legal immigrants is baffling.

You would expect as someone whose parent emigrated to the U.S., who’s married to an immigrant himself and who even outsources the labor of his companies to other countries, Trump would be a little more understanding of at least legal immigrants. I mean, how could you have a problem with that -- they followed the law and earned their citizenship!

A New York Times article said, “In asking Congress to curb legal immigration, Mr. Trump intensified a debate about national identity, economic growth, worker fairness and American values that animated his campaign last year.”

Now, it’s not surprising that Trump is a hypocrite. Before he was a politician he was a businessman and those titles go hand in hand with hypocrisy. What baffles me is that Trump doesn’t really seem to understand how cutting immigration could negatively impact the country he swears he loves so much. There’s one thing I bet our president loves more than his country: money, which is strongly impacted by immigration.

Forbes reported that immigration plays an integral role in economic growth by aiding in “labor force growth, entrepreneurship and human capital.” Forbes also reported that immigrants help to diversify and increase the American labor force which allows for businesses to grow and work more efficiently. 

Immigrants also work to create their own business, which not only improves the economy in and of itself, but could also inspire other Americans to compete in the job market, allowing for an increase and diversity in the establishment of small businesses. If we take that all away, we may be taking away all the money that comes with it.

It will serve Trump well to remember that this country was built on and flourished due to legal immigration. Good people have come into this country legally with the intent to improve both themselves and their communities, so maybe we should change the immigration system, not to limit its numbers, but to increase them. The U.S. is the home of the brave and land of the free after all and there’s no limit to that.

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