Leave it up to President Donald J. Trump – whose Republican Party supposedly stands for strong “family values” – to propose a plan to do the complete opposite when it comes to immigrant families.
“Our current immigration system fails Americans,” said Trump last Thursday. “Chain migration is a total disaster, which threatens our security and our economy and provides a gateway for terrorism.”
Yes, it appears our president is afraid of our abuelitas, mijos y hermanos (grandmothers, children, siblings).
Trump, who is using Dreamers as a bargaining chip to get the controversial wall on the U.S.-México border built, also wants the nation to eliminate what he and other anti-immigrant backers call “chain migration.”
Well, we didn’t know our grandmother could be a gateway for terrorism!
What the president and his supporters want is a dangerous effort to wipe away an immigrant’s family unit by banning a legal resident or a new U.S. citizen from bringing in their immediate family members. Under the current system, a legal resident can bring in a spouse or minor children. Once the person is naturalized, they can petition for parents, adult children and their spouses and children, adult siblings, and grandparents.
That is the way the system has worked. And, there is no evidence that an immigrant’s grandmother blew up a skyscraper or used an AK-7 to mow down scores of people.
Somehow, Trump believes family migration should end so that other would-be immigrants, possibly those with a college degree or a high-skill trade, be allowed into this country.
Not only is this un-American, but completely destroys the Republican Party’s embrace of family values.
There are at least three good reasons that family migration should be continued.
First, this is unfair to Dreamers who were told by the president they had nothing to worry about last September when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Each day, 122 of these Dreamers lose their protected status that shields them from deportation. They should not be pawns in a political debate.
Secondly, legal residents and new U.S. citizens should not be treated as second-class Americans by not allowing them to bring in their children and other family members. They have lived and worked by the rules to become part of this country, and now those rules will change overnight. That is unfair, and un-American. The message being sent here is: “Welcome to the United States. You’re OK to be here, but not your entire family.”
Thirdly, this idea runs counter to the GOP’s boast that “the family is the bedrock of our nation.” Poppycock! Family is family. If there is a problem with terrorists misusing family migration to get into this country, we’re sure there would be bipartisan support for a fix. As it is, only the president, his party and anti-immigrant groups support an end to family migration.
Why is the Republican Party so anti-family?
In its 2016 platform, the party stated: “When American families flourish, so too does our country. Our party’s economic and social policies, including tax reform, education, health care, and the sanctity of life, should always promote and strengthen that most sacred bond.”
Perhaps Trump and his party don’t want immigrant families to flourish.