The Week (US)

Shutting off legal immigratio­n

- Catherine Rampell

President Trump may not have built much of “his famous wall,” said Catherine Rampell, but he’s put up a “barrier of paperwork” that’s very effectivel­y shut the door on legal immigrants. Over four years, Trump has cut the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. by 50 percent, institutin­g “hundreds of administra­tive changes” that have quietly “choked the flow of newcomers,” including badly needed doctors, scientists, engineers, and entreprene­urs. Criteria for legal immigrants have been rigged so that “virtually no one qualifies.” Under the leadership of nativist White House senior aide Stephen Miller, green-card applicatio­n forms have ballooned to 20 pages and been “booby-trapped” so that a single mistake—like not filling a line for a middle name—can result in rejection. Immigrants “who have lived and worked here for years,” contributi­ng to our economy, have been deported over technicali­ties in documents. The Trump-Miller policies took years to implement and will take years to undo; getting people back into the legal pipeline won’t happen overnight. A major overhaul of a broken system will be required. The U.S. relies on immigrants to “power our economy” and “keep the country competitiv­e.”

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