Immigration patriots know that Donald Trump hasn’t been the border cop they voted for in 2016. Ann Coulter invited Trump’s ire when she wrote as much in February: “Trump has spent 25 months not building the wall.” But then Trump did divert military appropriations to begin construction, and more recently, his stricter new rules seem finally to be reducing the inflow, which followed his massive reduction in refugee admissions. Despite the best efforts of the GOP and Javanka, Trump has still not made a Bush I-Read My Lips-type U-turn. Trump’s real problem: the sheer power of the entrenched Treason Lobby. But the fact remains: he’s the only Trump we’ve got.
Let’s go to some bright spots.
One of the best things Trump has done is change immigration regulations. For example, all immigrants must now purchase health insurance within 30 days of arrival or prove they can cover healthcare expenses. “Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs,” the White House said [Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System, WhiteHouse.gov, October 4, 2019]. The Migration Policy Institute claims the new rule could block 65 percent of new arrivals; 4 percent of recent immigrants lack health insurance and another 31 percent depend on taxpayer-provided healthcare.
If true, that’s a good thing. And that change riffs off Trump’s effort to block immigrants who scrounge off welfare.
Disappointingly, the Kushner immigration plan announced in May does not lower the number of green cards awarded every year. On the upside, though, it mandates that wannabe immigrants be fluent in English, pass a civics test, and prove they can financially support themselves. That’s not as good as the RAISE Act, which would halve immigration, but it might well reduce the numbers.
And the White House recently announced it would lower the annual intake to 18,000 for 2020, the lowest number ever and a 79 percent cut to Barack Obama’s high of 85,000 and well below his planned 115,000 for fiscal 2017. So there’s a campaign promise Trump kept, much to the chagrin not only of the Open Borders Lobby, but also the Establishment Republicans we call the Lankford Nine.