President Donald J. Trump’s Letter
to House and Senate Leaders & Immigration Principles and Policies
October 08, 2017
I am pleased to transmit to you my Administration’s principles for reforming our Nation’s immigration system. In 2012, after the Congress rejected legislation offering legal status and work permits to illegal immigrants, the previous Administration bypassed the Congress and granted those same benefits unilaterally. These actions threatened Congress’s status as a coequal branch of Government and have resulted in a surge of illegal immigration.
As President, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, which makes clear that all legislative powers are vested in the Congress, not the President.
I, therefore, tasked the relevant executive departments and agencies to conduct a bottom-up review of all immigration policies to determine what legislative reforms are essential for America’s economic and national security. Rather than asking what policies are supported by special interests, we asked America’s law enforcement professionals to identify reforms that are vital to protect the national interest. In response, they identified dangerous loopholes, outdated laws, and easily exploited vulnerabilities in our immigration system – current policies that are harming our country and our communities.
I have enclosed the detailed findings of this effort. These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.
Immigration reform must create more jobs, higher wages, and greater security for Americans — now and for future generations. The reforms outlined in the enclosure are necessary to ensure prosperity, opportunity, and safety for every member of our national family.
Donald J. Trump
IMMIGRATION PRINCIPLES & POLICIES
1. BORDER SECURITY
A. Border Wall. Our porous southern border presents a clear threat to our national security and public safety, and is exploited by drug traffickers and criminal cartels. The Administration therefore proposes completing construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States.
B. Unaccompanied Alien Children. Loopholes in current law prevent “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UACs) that arrive in the country illegally from being removed. Rather than being deported, they are instead sheltered by the Department of Health and Human Services at taxpayer expense, and subsequently released to the custody of a parent or family member—who often lack lawful status in the United States themselves. These loopholes in current law create a dramatic pull factor for additional illegal immigration and in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the apprehensions of UACs at our southern border. Therefore, the Administration proposes amending current law to ensure the expeditious return of UACs and family units.
C. Asylum Reform. The massive asylum backlog has allowed illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the United States by exploiting asylum loopholes. There are more than 270,000 pending cases in the asylum backlog before USCIS, and approximately 250,000 asylum cases before EOIR. Therefore, the Administration proposes correcting the systemic deficiencies that created that backlog.
D. Ensure Swift Border Returns. Immigration judges and supporting personnel face an enormous case backlog, which cripples our ability to remove illegal immigrants in a timely manner. The Administration therefore proposes providing additional resources to reduce the immigration court backlog and ensure swift return of illegal border crossers.
E. Inadmissible Aliens. The current statutory grounds for inadmissibility are too narrow, and allow for the admission of individuals who threaten our public safety. Therefore, the Administration proposes expanding the criteria that render aliens inadmissible and ensure that such aliens are maintained in continuous custody until removal.
2. INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT
A. Sanctuary Cities. Hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions release dangerous criminals and empower violent cartels like MS-13 by refusing to turn over incarcerated criminal aliens to Federal authorities. Therefore, the Administration proposes blocking sanctuary cities from receiving certain grants or cooperative agreements administered or awarded by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
B. Immigration Authority for States and Localities. The prior Administration suppressed cooperative partnerships between the Federal Government and State or local governments that wanted to help with immigration enforcement, undermining the security of our communities. Therefore, the Administration proposes enhancing State and local cooperation with Federal immigration law enforcement in order to ensure national security and public safety.
C. Visa Overstays. Visa overstays account for roughly 40 percent of illegal immigration. The Administration therefore proposes strengthening the removal processes for those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas, and implementing measures to prevent future visa overstays which may account for a growing percentage of illegal immigration.
D. Necessary Resources. The relatively small number of ICE officers is grossly inadequate to serve a nation of 320 million people with tens of millions of tourists and visitors crossing U.S. ports of entry every year. Therefore, the Administration proposes providing more resources that are vitally needed to enforce visa laws, restore immigration enforcement, and dismantle criminal gangs, networks and cartels.
E. Detention Authority. Various laws and judicial rulings have eroded ICE’s ability to detain illegal immigrants (including criminal aliens), such that criminal aliens are released from ICE custody into our communities. Therefore, the Administration proposes terminating outdated catch-and-release laws that make it difficult to remove illegal immigrants.
F. Legal Workforce. Immigrants who come here illegally and enter the workforce undermine job opportunities and reduce wages for American workers, as does the abuse of visa programs. Therefore, the Administration increasing employment verification and other protections for U.S. workers.
G. Deportable Aliens. The categories of aliens that currently qualify for deportation are insufficiently broad to remove aliens who pose a threat to the security of the American public. Therefore, the Administration proposes expanding and clarifying the type of aliens who present a danger to Americans and should therefore be removable on an expedited basis.
H. Gang Members. Today, known gang members are still able to win immigration benefits despite the dangers they pose to American society. As such, the Administration proposes implementing measures that would deny gang members and those associated with criminal gangs from receiving immigration benefits.
3. MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
A. Merit-Based Immigration. The current immigration system prioritizes extended family-based chain migration over skills-based immigration and does not serve the national interest. Decades of low-skilled immigration has suppressed wages, fueled unemployment and strained federal resources. Therefore, the Administration proposes establishing a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, and ending chain migration, to promote financial success and assimilation for newcomers.
NOTE: Each of the above sections have specific remedies and comments. Read them HERE. (all emphasis mine)
This is not the actions of an insane man, an uncaring President, nor one who has chosen to arbitrarily determine law by himself despite the clear constitutional delineation, unlike Obama did on many occasions.
He has provided principles and target actions to both houses of Congress not as spur-of-the-moment power grab but in a respectful, clear, concise method such that Congress has simple guidelines. Nor did he rely on “expert” non-enforcement, politically motivated opinions but went directly to the sources who best can answer with “boots on the ground.”
In short, he has in this one letter provided proof to me and hopefully most Americans that he can be reasonable, can follow chain of command as outlined in the Constitution, and will place the welfare, safety, and success of the CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES above those who have not arrived in lawful manners, have no intention of assimilating, and have found ways to make money off the blood, sweat, and tears of our nation’s citizens.
The only question I did not see here was another that should also be addressed. The question is how to deal with ANCHOR BABIES. These are also non-citizens who make it onto our shores for the sole purpose of providing citizenship to their child for some purpose either to remain here as illegals or to go home and ensure they have a pipeline and escape should they need to return.
Democrats can rail all they want — but to remove President Trump from office by impeachment now after he has continuously placed American interests above foreign or domestic political interests would ensure the destruction of the Democrat Party as a political force in the US and might end up being far more dangerous in the long run to the political or even physical health of those that tried. If they were smart instead of obstructing his every move, they would find ways to work together to help put forward his principles. At least then, if President Trump made some error, watchdog citizens could comment on specifics of his actions and not on nonsensical tantrums.