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Trump Plan to End Family-Based Immigration

The Trump Administration is working on a massive overhaul of the immigration laws that would effectively end Family-Based immigration to the United States. The legislation would also cut legal immigration in half and make it much harder for Permanent Residents to become U.S. Citizens. This proposal combines all the hatred of the Alt-Right and White Nationalist Fringe into one piece of racist legislation.

While many New York Republicans said that Trump was not anti-immigrant, just anti-undocumented, in fact the prime targets of the president and his top aides are Lawful Permanent Residents. Alt-Right figures like Steve Bannon see those immigrants who are legally here in the United States as the real threat to white racial hegemony because they can ultimately become United States Citizens and thereby presumably diminish the voting power of whites. I know this sounds bizarre, but this is exactly how the folks over at Breitbart talk about this sort of thing. Changing who can legally immigrate helps to re-engineer who makes up the electorate decades from now.

Politico reported today on the work going on in the White House to get a bill ready for Congress. Stephen Miller, the man behind the Muslim Ban, is the lead aide working on the project with Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue. The two senators are on the far-right of the Republican Senate Caucus. Miller is the protege of Jeff Sessions and considered one of the most anti-immigrant people on the xenophobic Trump Team.

While details of the secretly drafted legislation are not yet known, Politico reports that the bill would slash legal immigration in half, largely by eliminating the Family-Based immigrant visa categories. The preference for family unity would be replaced by a points system that would advantage wealthier and whiter immigrants. Essentially it would end immigration as we know it.

The drafting group is also working on a proposal to make it tougher for financially challenged people to become citizens even if they are already Permanent Residents. The proposal will reportedly close off Citizenship to poorer people. A senior Trump official told Politico "In order to be eligible for citizenship, you'll have to demonstrate you are self-sufficient and you don't receive welfare." This would essentially prevent many older immigrants and single mothers from ever becoming Citizens.

Trump himself tipped his hand on the coming bill five months ago. The president said in his February address to the Joint Session of Congress that he favored “Switching away from this current system…and instead adopting a merit-based system.” Last month he promised that a new legal immigration system would be unveiled “very shortly.”

There are two responses that immigrants should make to this. The first is to pressure their Senators and Congressional Representatives to oppose the legislation. The second is, if they are already Permanent Residents, they should apply for Citizenship as soon as possible.The rules may change, my friends, and not for the better. 



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