Good News On Immigration

Mother Jones has data on immigration that most people will consider good news. Mother Jones, of course, doesn’t see it that way.

When President Donald Trump took office, he wasted no time in overhauling immigration system with high-profile moves such as separating asylum seekers from their children, rolling back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and diverting federal funds to build a border wall. Yet along with these dramatic changes, the administration has been implementing smaller, less visible bureaucratic changes that have affected people who seek to work, study, or stay in the United States through visas, green cards, and family unification programs.

As Ur Jaddou, the former chief counsel of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that oversees visas, work permits, and green cards told Highline, “the sheer number of both significant and less significant changes is overwhelming. It will take an ambitious plan over a series of years to undo it all.”

I sincerely hope that last assertion is true. Now, on to the data. Refugee admissions have dropped sharply:

Other immigration categories have slowed as well. It took me a moment to understand the charts, but the lighter dot to the left shows the percentage denied in 2015, and the darker dot to the right shows the percentage denied in 2019. I am especially glad to see “family unity applications” being denied at a relatively high rate–still, only 19%–as these are rife with fraud.

More data at the link. The bottom line is that, given the utterly irrational immigration regime established by the 1965 Act, administrative actions to enforce the law and cut down on the number of refugees and immigrants is the best we can do. Ultimately, we need a merit-based immigration system like Canada’s, or the one that the new Tory government in the U.K. is proposing. Until we have a system that is designed to benefit us, not random citizens of third world countries, Trump’s pullback is the best we can do.