If you care about the “Dreamers” or immigration in America, this would be a good week to pay attention. Congress will begin debate this afternoon on the so-called “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children and now seek to stay. Donald Trump has said he wants them out unless Congress can make a deal. So the “dealmaker” is now using some 800 thousand people as bargaining chips. The “Dreamers” can stay if Trump gets his border wall. Despite all the rhetoric around it, that’s the bottom line. Or is it?
A closer look shows there is much more in this “deal.” Don’t forget about the proposal that would end the visa lottery program and the proposal that would ban the sponsorship, by U.S. citizens, of adult children, parents, and siblings for green cards. That is huge! The Cato Institute reports it could mean a 44% reduction in legal immigration.
And if the White House plan had been around 50 years ago? According to Cato:
From 1965 to 2016, nearly 40 million immigrants received legal permanent residency in the United States. President Trump’s policies-fully implemented as he intends-would have reduced that number to just 17.2 million, banning at least 22.7 million people, a majority of all legal immigrants since 1965
So maybe the Dems should be wary of what they’re bargaining for. And there is not a lot of time to debate. March 5th is the deadline when Dreamers will lose legal protection without some agreement. So Congress has three weeks to make something happen. It’s going to be a wild ride.