Many would argue that the promise of immigration reform was ultimately what won Donald Trump the presidency. Now, Trump is taking one step closer to delivering on that promise, with the White House’s amnesty bill nearing completion.
There’s a lot going on in the 250 page draft, though – some of which conservatives are thrilled about and some of which has left many more than a little concerned. With the draft nearing its final version, we wanted to take the time to break down some of the biggest takeaways from the White House’s landmark immigration bill.
The Border Wall is Happening
By far the biggest promise from Trump on the campaign trail was the promise to build a wall that spans the border of the United States and Mexico. If the White House’s amnesty bill passes, funding for that wall will be in place.
One key aspect of the bill is that it requests funding in the amount of $25 billion delivered over the next five years to fund construction efforts. Estimates for how much it will cost to complete have varied wildly depending on the source However, according to most analysis, $25 billion should be enough to ensure that Trump is able to deliver on his promise.
The Bill is Designed to Benefit Businesses
Behind almost everything Trump does is the desire to help American businesses in any way possible, and the White House’s immigration bill is no exception. The truth is that many businesses, particularly those located near the border, rely on immigrant workers to some degree. In an effort to avoid stripping these businesses of their employees, the legislation aims to allow entry to compliant, skilled laborers with no criminal record while denying access to unskilled individuals or those with a criminal background.
This is a far-stretch from the liberal platform of allowing entrance to everyone regardless of the value they bring into the country. However, it should help to curb the inflow of criminals such as those from the notorious MS-13 gang while at the same time ensuring those who really do bring skills and value into the country are allowed access.
Chain Migration is Going Away
Conservatives in Washington and beyond have called for the Trump administration to end the controversial chain immigration and lottery programs which allow immigrants to bring in their extended family, siblings, and children. Techincally, the White House’s bill accomplishes this. However, it does so over an extended timeline that has left many displeased.
The bill will not end the the visa lottery and chain-migration programs until everyone currently in the pipeline has settled in the United States. Currently, this amounts to 4 million people, and it’s estimated that it will take over fifteen years before the programs are ended.
In other words, for those hoping the amnesty bill would provide relief from the salary impact that these programs have caused, it’s going to be quite some time before that relief comes.
The Bill Offers Amnesty to Many Illegal Immigrants
Perhaps the part of the bill that has left many conservatives the most displeased is the amnesty section, which will grant citizenship to most illegal immigrants who have documents proving that they are under the age of 37. Any illegal immigrant who is able to prove that they were under the age of 16 when they entered the country will put on a path to citizenship.
To make matters more concerning, the amnesty that the bill will offer goes into effect before the construction of the border wall even begins. This means there will be a large window of opportunity for illegal immigrants to come into the country and be granted citizenship before the wall is there to stop them. If anything, the passage of this bill could lead to more illegal immigrants coming in over the next few years.
The White House’s amnesty bill is a mixed bag of policies that has left many conservatives unsure of whether they should be excited about its passage or not. Trump has long billed himself as a master at the art of making deals, and sometimes deals require compromise. Still, many have concluded that this bill compromises too.
~ Liberty Planet