WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us today released a new report, Restricting Immigration, highlighting the Trump Administration’s unrelenting assault on an already broken immigration system. More than ever, the American people believe immigration is good for the United States. Economists agree that immigration is vital to job creation, economic growth, and global competitiveness. Despite this, President Trump has maintained an all-out attack on the U.S. immigration system since his first days in office. Hundreds of regulatory actions and policy changes have contributed to a 50% reduction in immigration levels compared to when President Trump took office, denying opportunity to millions and devastating American families.
The new report is the third installation in a new four-part series detailing the devastating human, economic, and political consequences of President Trump’s unfounded attacks on immigrant families and communities over the last four years.
Since 2016, the Trump Administration has made hundreds of regulatory and policy changes to make it harder for immigrants already in the U.S. to contribute to the country, and to make the process of immigrating to the U.S. more restrictive and burdensome for future immigrants looking to come to the country. These costly and largely unpopular changes include restricting expedited citizenship for immigrants in the military and spouses of citizens, applying excessive scrutiny to routine applications, gutting the refugee system, and raising the costs of immigration filings by hundreds of dollars. The restrictions have contributed to a 50% reduction in immigration levels compared to when President Trump took office, and have virtually shut down most immigration avenues for the rest of 2020.
“The Trump Administration’s attacks on international students are creating incredible uncertainty and anxiety for over a million foreign-born students at American universities. Due to constantly changing immigration policies, employers are growing increasingly wary of hiring graduates who are on F-1 visas. It creates obvious hurdles and stress for us students but also for talent-seeking companies,” said Pratima Satish, a native of India who recently earned her Ph.D. in computational chemistry from UC Berkeley. “Instead of scapegoating immigrants and missing out on our contributions, the U.S. should make it possible for us to apply our talents and pursue pathways to build our lives here, ultimately helping the U.S. become more economically competitive.”
In addition to devastating the lives of millions of immigrants, the Administration’s restrictions on almost all immigration avenues are hurting American businesses, limiting job growth and forcing employers to move work and production outside of the U.S. If these policies became permanent, the outlook is even grimmer. Experts estimate that the Administration’s proposed cuts to current immigration levels would shrink GDP by 2% and cost 4.6 million jobs over 20 years.
“More than ever, Americans across the political spectrum believe immigration is good for our communities and our economy,” said Andrew Moriarty, Deputy Director of Federal Policy at FWD.us. “Rather than slamming the door on those seeking to contribute to our country, we should establish a fair and orderly immigration system that prioritizes the wellbeing of our families, ensures job creation, promotes economic growth and maintains our global competitiveness.
Trump’s harmful policies are also deeply unpopular with voters. The American public overwhelmingly supports maintaining or expanding immigration, and the number of voters who agree sits at 70% according to Gallup – a record high. Support for maintaining or increasing immigration has gone up since Trump took office. Even a small number of Republicans in Congress, including some of the President’s closest allies, have urged the President repeatedly to scale back attacks on various specific immigration programs.
“The future of our nation’s economic security and growth stems from the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs — not from scapegoating the very population that for centuries has been a cornerstone of our country’s economic engine,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “For over a century the United States has been the top destination for the world’s top talent, and for people trying to build a better life for themselves and their families. If successful, the Trump Administration’s efforts to radically restrict immigration would eliminate this historic advantage that drives our global competitiveness”
President Trump has devoted much of his first term as President to heavily restricting immigration to the U.S., despite passionate resistance from the American public and elected officials, and measurable harm to the economy. Along the way, millions of families have been punished and torn apart in the process. If re-elected, the Trump Administration will be able to carry out its goal of severely restricting the immigration system – and along with it, the American Dream – as we know it.
Individuals impacted by the Trump Administration’s cuts to immigration – including international students and people seeking asylum – are available for comment. Read their bios here.