Trump's chain-immigration plan takes aim at Asia
biggest users of family preference immigration -one kind of legal immigration that Trump would mostly do away with: Number of people by region obtaining lawful permanent resident status through family-sponsored preferences in 2016.
Without family-reunification immigration, there would still be many Hispanic Americans and black Americans, but there wouldn't be nearly so many Asian Americans. Combined, family preference and immediate family immigration (which includes spouses, minor children, and parents) accounts for a very large percent of the growth of Asian minorities.
If adult children, parents and siblings of US citizens were barred from immigrating, as under Trump's plan, the growth of Asian America would slow dramatically. The slowdown would be even worse than these graphs show, because some highly skilled employer-sponsored immigrants would refuse to come work in the country if they couldn't bring their elderly parents with them.
That would certainly be a slap in the face to Asian Americans, since many would take the restriction as a declaration that they are undesirable as a group. What's more, to repudiate familybased immigration is tantamount to wishing that Asian America as we now know it had never come into existence. Though high-skilled immigrants come from all regions of the globe, and all have been successful in the U.S., the achievements of Asian Americans are particularly well-known. Despite language barriers and lack of local ties, Asian Americans tend to be economically successful, comparing favorably to the Norwegian immigrants Trump declared he wanted.
Asian Americans also have persistently lower unemployment rates than white Americans, and their average wealth has been increasing rapidly. Beyond these blunt economic statistics, Asian Americans have contributed to the fabric of American society in countless key ways -- starting companies such as YouTube, Yahoo and NVIDIA; inventing the birth control pill and AIDS treatment; directing Hollywood movies; serving in the U.S. Senate; and helping defeat the country's enemies on the battlefield. And those are only a few famous individuals -- there are many more, in addition to the countless less famous Asian Americans who have added in a million small positive ways to the fabric of the country. Meanwhile, this new group of people been integrating rapidly and deeply into American society -- 46 percent of U.S.-born Asian Americans intermarry with Americans of other backgrounds.
The point here is not to glorify Asian Americans over other immigrant groups, or to imply that only famous or high-earning individuals contribute to America. The point here is merely to illustrate one clear example of a case where "chain migration" added something special to the U.S. that wouldn't even exist otherwise.
When Miller and Trump say the words "chain migration," you shouldn't imagine a faceless horde of invaders coming to claim welfare benefits and live off of the largesse of the native-born. Instead, you should imagine all the good and noble human beings who have made America what it is today - - the mothers and fathers, the workers and inventors, the good neighbors and friends. Before changing the country's immigration system, we should stop and reflect on all the real benefits we wouldn't have without it.
Family reunification has been one of