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The Mediocre Conservative Argument For A Grand Bargain On Immigration (The Washington Post)

February 1, 2018

From the article: 

For socially conservative immigration restrictionists, it is the best of times and the worst of times. It is the best of times because the current White House shares their views. It is the worst of times because the current White House is not terribly well run and its motivations behind immigration restriction appear to be grounded in racism.

...on policy, what the Trump administration is proposing is a trade of offering a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients in return for draconian restrictions on legal immigration. How draconian? The Cato Institute analysis of the proposals was pretty scathing:

Members of Congress will have to flesh out the details, but in the most likely scenario, the new plan would cut the number of legal immigrants by up to 44 percent or half a million immigrants annually — the largest policy-driven legal immigration cut since the 1920s. Compared to current law, it would exclude nearly 22 million people from the opportunity to immigrate legally to the United States over the next five decades….
 
The effects of the White House immigration framework are similar only to two notorious pieces of legislation: the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act of 1924, which reduced the number of legal immigrants by 495,672 and 412,582, respectively. Congress saw these bills as preventing the degradation of America’s racial stock — by Italians and Eastern Europeans, specifically Jews.
 

The Center for Global Development also looked at the GOP’s proposals and concluded that there would be some pronounced effects on the pattern of the remaining legal immigration: “Hispanic and black immigrants would be roughly twice as likely to be barred by the immigration cuts as white immigrants.” 

Read the full article here.

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Photo of Michael Clemens
Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow