The rhetoric of the Trump administration has been starkly anti-immigration (Arce, 2019) and its policies have been successful in achieving its goals. Trump is famously quoted with saying that Mexico is sending rapists and drug dealers, and this rhetoric further economic divides across ethnic backgrounds by falsely (Immigrants and the Economy 2020) claiming that immigrants are stealing jobs (Arce, 2019). Such claims had been refuted by data produced under the Bush administration, in a study which had actually drawn overwhelming economic benefits stemming from immigration, from the formation of capital, the addition to the American workforce, and the revitalization of once-dying communities (Immigrants and the Economy 2020). Nonetheless, the rhetoric employed has resulted in a crackdown on illegal immigration, overwhelming the immigration system with incomplete and pending cases, and has tightened restrictions on legal immigration which may have impacts for years to come (Pierce, Bolter, & Selee, 2018).
Proposed Policy Solutions
Apparent intentions behind Trump’s travel ban. As laid out in his White House immigration platform, the travel ban is in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks on America. The ban is intended to ensure the security of America, which he alleges has been taken advantage of in recent years (Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States 2017).
Proposed Solution: While the ban may be well intended, a perpetual ban blanketed across nations does not serve international interests. The original ban was struck down for failing to produce evidence to substantiate its claims (Gonzales, 2017). To ensure American security in the impacted regions, it is advised to simply have a more stringent review of all travel and work visas to ensure that applicants are looking to serve a mutually beneficial diplomatic relationship.
America’s Southern border is a hotly contested issue within our polarized political system. Trumps’ work to secure our border includes wait-in-Mexico rules for immigrants seeking asylum and changing asylum rules to ensure asylum seekers seek security in another nation before being allowed to stay in the US. Finally, this administration has extended the detainment period for people seeking asylum, which has resulted in overcrowding at detention centers as immigrants await their day in the court.
Proposed Solution: The issue of illegal immigration across the southern border is great, however the policy choices made by this administration has exacerbated the situation. The Trump administration has used both political coercion and executive orders to get funding for a border wall. Our proposed solution is to instead use that funding to revitalize the existing infrastructure of detention centers, as well as provide funding for legal teams and social workers to more rapidly process the detained persons. In the short term, this strategy will greatly increase deportations, however in the long term it will ensure that asylum-seeking individuals are treated with humanity and processed through a fair civil court to determine their status regarding staying in America.
Visa changes under the Trump administration have been drastic and are intended to ensure that American industry is hiring American workers. The changes require employers to pay non-citizen workers rates which reflect higher-than-average wages (depending on the position) in order to disincentivize hiring cheaper foreign labor. This has happened in tandem with restrictions on H-1B visas, which now require workers to work strictly in the field their degree is intended for instead of related corollary fields. While intended to support the American workforce, these changes are expected to hurt major tech industries such as google, which has long relied on talented H-1B visa holders as they transition from school into the workforce.
Proposed Solution: This author’s opinion is that the rate hike as it stands under the most recent visa changes, pose a threat to American industry, and will cause an unintended exodus of talent to our neighbor Canada. The wage hike per level is an estimated ~28% hike in wages, which is unsustainable by American industries leaving a looming jumping-off-point as workers will no longer qualify for their visa renewal. Instead, this author believes that having an immediate raise of 15% in wage requirements, with a 10-year plan to gradually raise wages to that ~28% to give industry enough time to adapt and grow alongside the changes.
Arce, J. (2019, August 06). Donald Trump’s Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Is Rooted in Racism. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://time.com/5645501/trump-anti-immigration-rhetoric-racism/
Boghani, P. (2019, October 22). A Guide to Some Major Trump Administration Immigration Policies. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/a-guide-to-some-major-trump-administration-immigration-policies/
Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. (2017, January 27). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states/
Gonzales, R. (2017, February 09). Appeals Court Rejects Bid To Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/09/514384549/appeals-court-rejects-bid-to-reinstate-trumps-travel-ban
Gramlich, J. (2020, September 08). How border apprehensions, ICE arrests and deportations have changed under Trump. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/03/02/how-border-apprehensions-ice-arrests-and-deportations-have-changed-under-trump/
Immigrants and the Economy. (2020). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.aclu.org/other/immigrants-and-economy
Moore, J. (2020, January 31). [Immigrants await their turn for green card and citizenship interviews at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office on May 30, 2013, in the Queens borough of New York City. (]. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/doj-working-to-ease-the-growing-immigration-case-backlog-make-strained-system-more-efficient/
Pierce, S., Bolter, J., & Selee, A. (2018, July). U.S. Immigration Policy under Trump: Deep Changes and Lasting Impacts[Scholarly project]. In Migration Policy Institute Reports. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/us-immigration-policy-trump-deep-changes-impacts