When discussing the policies surrounding the American Immigration system in Trump’s America, it is paramount to discuss both the intended and actual impacts of those policy decisions. The Trump administration has pushed to ban immigration from several Muslim majority countries, end Chain Migration, change the visa system, and construct a border wall along America’s border with Mexico. Throughout the enacting of this administration’s policies, many families living in America have found themselves anxious for the future America may have for them.
Trump’s “Muslim Ban” or Executive Order 13769
Intended: Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The wording on this executive order claims that following the September 11th terrorist attacks, the visa changes which had taken place had failed to stop foreign nationals from committing terrorist attacks in America. The order suspended all immigrant or nonimmigrant entry into the country for 90 days, indefinitely suspended refugees from Syria from entering the country, and immediately halted the issuance of visas to “nations of concern”. (Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States 2017)
Actual: Based on the rhetoric Trump had personified throughout his campaign, the executive order was immediately referred to as Trump’s “Muslim Ban”, as its impact was focused onto seven Muslim-majority countries. The executive order was met with immediate legal trouble, as Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed to have parts of the order labelled unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined in fighting against the ban, filing 18 Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and protesting nationwide at airports against the ban (Timeline of the Muslim Ban 2020).
Intended: Trump had campaigned heavily and is quoted with saying that Mexico is sending “drugs… crime… and some I assume are good people” (J, 2016), rhetoric which he used to justify strengthening border security. His campaign repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, however the Mexican president refused repeatedly to do so.
Actual: After Mexico repeatedly refused to pay for the wall, Trump turned to congress. The government shut down in late 2018 after senate Republicans made border wall funding a key part of their agreement, and senate Democrats refused to give the requested $5bil for the wall. Democrats in congress refused to agree to any funding for a border wall as a matter of principle, though for year prior they’d established their agreement for a need of greater security on the wall (Golshan, 2019). The government was shut down from December 22nd to January 25th, pending a three week funding agreement and continued talks to gain funding for the wall. To date, only three new miles of wall have been built, and all work on the border wall has been improvement or maintenance on existing portions of the wall (Trump’s campaign promises – has he delivered on them? 2020).
H-1B Visa Changes
Intended: The proposed changes to the H-1B visa is laid out as a means of ensuring that foreign laborers are used in place of Americans. It states that foreign workers must demonstrate merit to work in the US and raises the standards with which people apply for visas are held in order to protect the American worker. The Trump administration has also issued a ban on issuing new H-1B visas through the end of 2020.
Actual: The changes include understanding on an industry case-by-case basis the average wages, and require that for businesses to hire foreign workers, that their wages be 28% higher than they had previously been. Entry level foreign workers are now required to be paid at the 45th percentile for comparable wages, and top-level employees at the 95thpercentile. These changes have already shaken the tech world, which has numerous foreign workers in many crucial positions (Baron, 2020). As the changes stand, many people living and working in America are likely to be ineligible for a renewal of their visas (Hackman, 2020).
Baron, E. (2020, June 23). H-1B: Silicon Valley blasts Trump’s Monday order suspending visas. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/06/22/h-1b-silicon-valley-blasts-trumps-monday-order-suspending-visas/
Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. (2017, January 27). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states/
Golshan, T. (2019, January 15). Democrats aren’t saying no to physical barriers on the border. They are saying no to Trump. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/15/18177566/democrats-trump-wall-shutdown
Hackman, M. (2020, October 16). Trump Administration Overhaul of H-1B Visa Program Challenged in Court. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-overhaul-of-h-1b-visa-program-challenged-in-court-11602892079
J, B. (Director). (2016, October 23). Donald Trump- Mexican Immigrants are Drug Dealers and Rapists [Video file]. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fYivShtbWw
Timeline of the Muslim Ban. (2020, February 10). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.aclu-wa.org/pages/timeline-muslim-ban
The Trump Administration Is Taking Action to Tighten Foreign Worker Visa Requirements and Protect American Workers. (2020, October 06). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/trump-administration-taking-action-tighten-foreign-worker-visa-requirements-protect-american-workers/
Trump’s campaign promises – has he delivered on them? (2020, October 15). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37982000