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Trump Leads GOP in Turn Against Legal Immigration

The president's plan would slash legal immigration by as much as half, the most drastic cut in nearly a century.

Ben Von Klemperer/CrowdSpark/NewscomBen Von Klemperer/CrowdSpark/NewscomOne of the big moments in the phenomenally popular musical Hamilton, which has been running on Broadway for more than two years, is titled "Immigrants—We Get the Job Done." In the debate over new federal legislation, a response is being heard: "Get it done somewhere else."

Many people have long decried illegal immigration while claiming to have no problem with legal immigration. The complaints about undocumented foreigners are familiar: "Why can't they follow the rules? Why don't they get in line and wait their turn like everyone else? Why should they be rewarded for breaking the law?"

The simple answer is that we make it too hard to immigrate, even as our economy depends on the labor of immigrants, legal or otherwise. If the goal is to induce more aspirants to come through legitimate channels, we should be working to expand and simplify those channels.

That's not what Donald Trump proposes. His plan provides legal status and a lengthy path for citizenship for up to 1.8 million people who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In exchange, though, the president wants to sharply restrict family-based immigration.

The bill he favors would change the law to bar naturalized citizens from petitioning to bring their parents, adult or married children, and siblings. Only spouses and children under age 18 (down from the current 21) would be eligible.

Trump also wants to abolish the diversity visa lottery, which takes up to 50,000 people each year from countries that are underrepresented in other categories. He would limit refugee admissions, which numbered 85,000 in 2016, to an annual maximum of 45,000.

In all, his plan would slash legal immigration by as much as half, the most drastic cut in nearly a century. On Wednesday, Trump threatened to veto any bill that doesn't include such limits.

It is not just the president's policy to target prospective immigrants who are willing to use approved avenues. It's now the agenda of his party. The bill he favors is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump says his changes would "curb the flow of low-skilled workers into the U.S." In fact, as the Migration Policy Institute notes, close to half of adult immigrants who have come here legally since 2011 have a bachelor's degree, compared with one-third of native-born Americans 25 or older. Though Trump wonders why we take people from "shithole countries" in Africa, 40 percent of African immigrants are college graduates.

His allies profess a desire to boost "merit-based" immigration. But this measure would actually reduce the flow of high-skilled workers. "If you are thinking about the number of college graduates who would be getting green cards each year, that number would go down" under Trump's plan, MPI analyst Julia Gelatt told The Atlantic.

Why would we want to close off half the legal stream of immigrants? Economists generally see them as a net plus. Trump and his allies insist that the new arrivals depress wages. But the effect, if any, is small. And the newcomers stimulate investment, create employment by buying goods and services, fill jobs that few Americans want, and help revive poor neighborhoods that have lost residents.

The benefits are not accidental. Immigrants don't land here by accident to be transported to Shangri-La on a feather bed. The people who come are self-selected for motivation, resilience and industry.

They leave their home countries because they think they will have greater opportunities to make full use of their talents and ambitions here. And Americans of all income and skill levels gain from their presence.

Trump routinely equates foreigners with danger, drugs, and crime. But reducing the influx of legal immigrants, who are far less likely than natives to go to prison, would do nothing to make Americans safer. Just the opposite.

Though Republicans revere Ronald Reagan, Trump and his allies in Congress are repudiating his heritage without apology.

"Our nation is a nation of immigrants," Reagan said in 1981. "More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands." He favored a policy that "opens the door of opportunity for those who seek a new life in America."

That sentiment seems to be on its way to extinction in his party. Even when it comes to foreigners who choose to come legally, Trump is not into opening doors. He's into putting up walls.

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  • buybuydandavis||

    "The president's plan would slash legal immigration by as much as half, the most drastic cut in nearly a century."

    Not enough! Cut more!

  • BambiB||

    Is Shikha writing under a pseudonym? Slashing the legal immigration rate by 50%!!?? HORRORS! You mean all the way down to the level it was for almost all of the 19th and 20th centuries?

    Reagan's "heritage" on immigration was he was lied to and deceived by the Demoncraps! The deal was amnesty in exchange for strict border security. Of course, the Demoncraps took the amnesty part - and broke their word on immigration security. So the Demoncraps fooled us once. This time around, I'm hoping Trump requires the wall be built BEFORE any Dreamers are spared (and deport them until it is).

    Hey Chapman - how do you argue against "Immigraiton Gumballs"?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

  • wuracituj||

    I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

    This is what I do... www.onlinecareer10.com

  • buybuydandavis||

    "His allies profess a desire to boost "merit-based" immigration."

    Sorry if you're deaf, but that isn't what we want.

    We want whatever immigration we have, which is *less*, to be based on merit, merit being defined as benefit to American citizens.

    America First!

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: buybuydavis,

    Sorry if you're deaf, but that isn't what we want.


    There's no "we", unless you're talking about you and the reflection of you in a mirror, or you and the voices in your head.

    Immigration helps the economy by increasing the pool of labor, which makes it possible for businesses to thrive. Labor is productive. What you want is irrelevant. It's what the Market wants, and that is what matters. Not you and your prejudices.

    Idiot.

  • BYODB||

    When you artificially increase the supply of something, what happens to it's price again?

  • Azathoth!!||

    When you artificially increase the supply of something, what happens to it's price again?

    Well, that works with everything except Mexicans.

    When you add Mexicans, everyone's wages go up--no matter how many you add. Just because they're brown.

    Ask Old Mexican--he'll tell you all about it in a torrent of spittle-flecked invective.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    What is the purpose of the "Diversity Visa"?

    Google doesn't select its employees by lottery.
    Princeton doesn't select its students by lottery.
    The NE Patriots don't select its players by lottery.

    What possible rationale is there to select immigrants by lottery?

  • Rhywun||

    Smugness?

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    Yeah, but if you base who comes in on what they can actually DO, you're being mean /sarc

    Apparently we should handle our immigration policy like a kindergarten field day. Everyone gets a ribbon and nobody gets their feelings hurt.

  • eyeroller||

    Meanwhile, all the people who cheer for "less immigrants" will continue to teach their children that menial labor is shameful and beneath them.

  • SIV||

    You have that backwards.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: SIV,

    You have that backwards.


    That retort made no sense. Care to elaborate?

  • Azathoth!!||

    The people who want to import slaves --Mexicans, want to do so because Americans are too good to pick lettuce, watch children or clean toilets.

    They're not circumspect about that at all, as a matter of fact--if Shikha can't kick some dalits around, she'll settle for beaners--and she's openly said so in her articles.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The people who want to import Mexicans want to do so because they are too good to clean their own toilets, mow their own lawns, or raise their own kids.

    Rulerz Needz Moar Zervanzt!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You really think the same people who are calling for a return to promoting skilled trades within the middle class, as a means to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt getting a piece of paper in grievance studies at a shitlib indoctrination center, are going to be sorry to see fewer immigrants?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Red Rocks White Privilege,

    are going to be sorry to see fewer immigrants?


    Which is why such things as Natural Rights should never ever be left to majority vote. It doesn't matter how xenophobes and bigots feel. Feelings are irrelevant.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Which is why such things as Natural Rights should never ever be left to majority vote. It doesn't matter how xenophobes and bigots feel. Feelings are irrelevant.

    Since Hispanics empirically support progressive government policies, importing more of them should never be left to majority vote. It doesn't matter how many taco trucks we'll lose or how many white liberals will have to mow their own lawns. Feeling are irrelevant.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Who defines what natural rights are? Who defined them originally? Will they ever change as we change?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Feel free to mow lawns for a living.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Trump and his allies insist that the new arrivals depress wages. But the effect, if any, is small.


    Trump and his allies are economically illiterate. It is not possible for wages to be depressed because the pool of labor is increased. There are two things people forget:
    A) Labor is productive. Increasing the pool of labor increases the productivity of an economy.
    B) if it were true that more labor depresses wages, then people should stop having childre, like right now, because each child you bring is going to depress your wages.

    Before any clueless Trumpista comes back with "but supply and demand", let me remind the economically stoopid that labor is not a single amorphous lump. Neither are all goods, by that matter, but labor is even less sensitive to increases in the labor pool as long as the labor market remains free. The only point where you see sensitivity is in the lowest spectrum which is unskilled labor but that is mostly because of minimum wage laws.

    If it were true that sudden labor pool increases depresses wages, then it should be true that women workers would have a depressing effect on wages for men, but the CONTRARY has happened as women get more skills. So where are people getting this idea that labor increases depress wages? From their imagination. It didn't happen after Emancipation, didn't happen because of immigrants from Europe, or women entering the workforce.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    How absurd.

    Real wages have stagnated or fallen over the past few decades even while productivity has greatly increased, primarily due to the drastic increase of women and immigrants in the labor force. Or do you wish to argue that real wages have grown as the pool of labor expanded? The effect of women entering the workforce is especially glaring, as most were already present in the economy as consumers. At least with immigrant labor you are adding new consumers as well. But increasing labor without a corresponding increase in consumption (by turning non working consumers into working consumers) does in fact depress wages. Theres no increased demand for products, so no increase in demand for workers to make said products...just more workers vying for the same jobs. The data from the last 40 years bears this out. Theres a reason that it takes two incomes to buy a house and raise a family when prior to women's lib it only took one.

    You can argue that its a morally good thing that women have greater participation in the labor force, but to claim that it didn't create downward pressure on wages is either willfully ignorant or purposefully misleading.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: OGREtheTroll,

    How absurd.


    Here we go.

    Real wages have stagnated or fallen over the past few decades


    Liar.

    do you wish to argue that real wages have grown as the pool of labor expanded?


    Yes - in MOST SECTORS, especially the service sector. Labor is NOT one amorphous lump where you can average everything, which is the basis for your faulty thinking, not unlike letting a few midgets inside a room full of tall people to then decry the fact that the "average height has not increased!"

    The effect of women entering the workforce is especially glaring, as most were already present in the economy as consumers [WTF??????????????????].


    What does THAT have to do with ANYTHING?

    Theres a reason that it takes two incomes to buy a house [...] prior to women's lib it only took one


    LIAR! See home ownership rates. They didn't drop after women's lib and have increased since. It is far easier to get a home today than ever. There's NO CORRELATION between the two things.

    Home Ownership Historic Census Gov

  • OGREtheTroll||

    Project much? You call me a Liar twice, yet its in response to the two things that are verifiable and indisputable facts.

    Wages have been stagnant or falling. Period. You are simply deluding yourself and others if you truly believe other wise. The only area that has seen an increase in real wages has been in the upper 10% of incomes.

    And I never said anything about home ownership rates. I said it takes two incomes to buy a home and raise a family whereas before it only took one. So you're not proving anything by referring to data showing a modest increase in the home ownership rate. If you're position were correct we could expect to see a profound increase in home ownership--as theres so many more people making much more money with their magically rising incomes so that everybody can afford these houses that are so much more relatively cheaper. The fact that homeownership rates have increased only slightly while the size of the labor force increased dramatically proves my point, not yours.

    Go back to class bud, theres a lot more to economics than Macro 101.

  • EirkKengaard||

    Well said. Most people don't think about cause and effect. Indeed, most people don't think.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Here's an alternative theory about why it now takes two incomes to buy a house and raise a family.

    Because one of the spouses is working full time to pay for the cost of our greatly expanded government over the last 40 years?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah man you got it!!!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You mean as women gained a larger place in the workforce, our government increasingly grew?

  • EscherEnigma||

    2010 median household income was ~$50000, marginal tax rate of 15%.
    2000 median household income was ~$42000, marginal tax rate of 15%
    1990 median household income was ~$30000, marginal tax rate of 15%
    1980 median household income was ~$17000, marginal tax rate of 24%
    1970 median household income was ~$9000, marginal tax rate of 22%
    1960 median household income was ~$6000, marginal tax rate of 22%
    1950 median household income was ~$4000, marginal tax rate of 22%
    (apologies for rough numbers, I wasn't able to find raw data and was looking at a graph)

    The increase of women in the work-force does not seem to correlate with an increase in federal taxes.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The increase of women in the work-force does not seem to correlate with an increase in federal taxes

    Federal taxes =/= the size of government.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Federal taxes =/= the size of government.

    Exactly right.

    Add in cost of regulation as well as state and local burdens, and that would be close to determining the size of government.

    There probably is a cost for where government competes with private companies (like NPR), but I wouldn't have a clue how to determine that.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Federal taxes =/= the size of government.


    Correct.

    But to remind you, I am the 0.000000013% theory was:

    [...] it now takes two incomes to buy a house and raise a family [...] Because one of the spouses is working full time to pay for the cost of our greatly expanded government over the last 40 years?


    So you are correct that the provided numbers say nothing about size of government. But they do say how much a median household is paying for that government. And that portion of earnings going to Uncle Sam? Has not grown.

  • EirkKengaard||

    ". . . . [when] land is in greater supply than potential renters, the land owners will be forced to rent it at a very low rate. As a result, the distribution of income will be less extreme than that of wealth. . . . The situation changes dramatically when the population grows to the point where there is an oversupply of labor . . . The poor, who do not earn enough to feed their families, are forced to work for minimal wages . . . " Peter Turchin, War and Peace and War, page 265

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi Old Mexican,

    I agree with you, but I had to stew a bit to find a good analogy to prove your point. Here it is:

    You want an example of a group of people who effectively believed that "immigration is evil", AND ALSO, making babies is evil? They didn't believe these things to both be evil because they increased the supply of labor, and therefor drove down its costs, but the net effect was the same!

    Research the "Shakers", some religious kooks from a while ago. They practically forbade "immigration" into their group by making their life utterly miserable (no pleasures, and no baby-making especially).

    No baby-making for religious-kook reasons is the same as no-baby-making because it provides too much labor... Reasons WHY here, "machs nix:.

    End result: Practical extinction for the Shakers!!!

    Ergo, idiotically restricting your labor supply is... Idiotic!

  • Deep Lurker||

    You can't say that Trump is hornswoggling his followers over immigration; this cutback in legal immigration is exactly what they want and exactly what they elected him to do. So it's a mistake to call this "Trump's" plan. It's the plan of a huge anti-immigration wave. That means you can't just defeat Trump on this issue but instead must defeat tens of millions of passionately anti-immigration Americans who support Trump and who are furious at Congress, especially on the GOP side, for not being just as anti-immigration as Trump.

    A focus on defeating Trump and "Trump's plan" on immigration will do nothing about the populist anti-immigration volcano underneath, other than making it worse. I wish it were otherwise - I wish that the Trumpist Party was an anti-regulation, anti-Obamacare movement, instead of the 21st Century American Know-Nothing party, but wishing won't make it so.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Deep Lurker,

    You can't say that Trump is hornswoggling his followers over immigration


    There's more confusion on that particular subject you think. This morning, Senator Cruz was talking to the "Suck Trump's Dick" squad over at Forx & Friends about the terrible deal that Trump was considering to "illegally" provide citizenship to 1.8 million DACA recipients. Yeah, he said "illegally", as if an act of Congress, consistent with the Constitution, could be regarded as "illegal" conceptually. You may have on one side Trumpistas who want to curtail illegal immigration only but are OK with legal immigration while you have another set of Trumpistas who want to stop immigration completely, people who think like Perdue, Cotton and, clearly, Cruz.

  • Ted Striker||

    It'd be more accurate to say "anti-mass immigration", as even the (falsely labeled) hardline reforms sought would still allow at least 500,000 legal immigrants per year. That's hardly an insignificant number.

  • phillhamian||

    Emotional appeals are not persuasive, which makes these sorts of commentaries perplexing.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Like "We Don't Want 'Em Here! Them Immigruntz Takum Er Jebz!" emotional appeal? Or what are these appeals you are referring to?

  • EirkKengaard||

    Not reason, but emotion and belief rule the world. That is why things are the way they are.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Trump routinely equates foreigners with danger, drugs, and crime. But reducing the influx of legal immigrants, who are far less likely than natives to go to prison, would do nothing to make Americans safer. Just the opposite.


    You do notice the hypocrisy that some Republicans display when discussing immigrants and immigration. Just this very morning, on Fox & Friends (which I had stopped watching for a while until the odious Chris Cuomo started to pontificate about guns - again), while the Fox & Friends' "Suck Trump's Dick" squad were talking to senator Ted Cruz, they asked him about Democrats and their penchant for politicizing a tragedy like yesterday's FL high school shooting, to which Cruz responded that "they wasted no time to politicize tragedies", to which he proceeded to politicize a tragedy ─the Kate Steinle shooting─ to rail against immigrants and how Kate would've been alive had our borders been secure. So you have two assholes ─Cuomo and Cruz─ using the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT to attack their favorite villains, one guns and the other immigrants.

  • EirkKengaard||

    "we make it too hard to immigrate, even as our economy depends on the labor of immigrants, legal or otherwise."

    It should be hard - we've run out of room.

    Our economy depends on the labor? The economy belongs to the 1%. The rest of us are concerned with quality of life.

    "The three decades . . . from the mid forties to the mid seventies, were the golden age of manual labor." Why were times so good for blue collar workers? To some extent they were helped by the state of the world economy. They were also helped by a scarcity of labor created by the severe immigration restrictions imposed by the [ Johnson–Reed ] Immigration Act of 1924." Paul Krugman, Conscience of a Liberal, Chapter 3 (pages 48-49)

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    We've run out of room!? Where do you live?

    This country is almost completely empty. Sure, there are some shithole parts that are packed to the gills, but nobody is forcing you to live there. I've driven across all parts of the USA, and it's not at all hard to get yourself in a position where there isn't a gas station within any reasonable distance.

    Quit subsidizing mass transportation and other things that tend to aggregate people and you won't have the problem of too dense urban areas. Though honestly I'm happy they exist, since it leaves the wide open spaces to the rest of us. Just don't make national policy based on the urban areas.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Out of room?

    Shit dude, have you ever been out west?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Shit dude, have you ever been out west?

    I've lived out here my whole life. It's not the lack of space, it's the lack of water.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, not really. It may not be as cheap and plentiful as we like, but no city in the west is in danger of ending up the next Cape Town.

  • Titanicguy||

    You know, that top 1% is largely made up of business owners, bankers, etc. You know what these businesses need to keep running? LABOR! Businesses need labor and thus our economy depends on labor. Businesses hold up the economy, and those businesses are held up by their products, which are made by employees. Ya see? Labor is the driving force of the American economy. Look at the Gilded Age, labor was the main reason that industry was able to grow, especially immigrant labor. Labor is the most important component in the American economy and really any economy.

  • EirkKengaard||

    Nothing has done more to diminish the quality of life for the United States middle class through higher housing (land) costs, competition for jobs, low wages, greater poverty, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, crime, disease, cost of public schools, degradation of the military, cost of college, depletion of resources, burden on the taxpayer and overall congestion than the INCREASE of and change in the nature (more poor, more criminals, e pluribus multum) of the POPULATION since 1965, driven almost entirely by immigration (immigrants, h1b visa holders, visa overstays, refugees, etc) their families and descendants.

  • BYODB||

    So in other words, one million immigrants each year isn't enough?

  • BYODB||

    Also it's weird that people say the process is too hard when there are one million immigrants each year. I mean, the process might be too hard but apparently a lot of people figure it out.

  • EscherEnigma||

    That's a qualitative answer as there is no definitive "what's enough".

    That said, here's some historical data (apologies for formatting)

    Year | Population | Immigrants arrived over prior decade | new immigrants as % of population
    1830: | 12,866,020 | 143,439 | 1.11%
    1840: | 17,069,453 | 599,125 | 3.51%
    1850: | 23,191,876 | 1,713,251 | 7.39%
    1860: | 31,443,321 | 2,598,214 | 8.26%
    1870: | 38,558,371 | 2,314,825 | 6.00%
    1880: | 50,189,209 | 2,812,191 | 5.60%
    1890: | 62,979,766 | 5,246,613 | 8.33%
    1900: | 76,212,168 | 3,687,564 | 4.84%
    1910: | 92,228,496 | 8,795,386 | 9.54%
    1920: | 106,021,537 | 5,735,811 | 5.41%
    1930: | 123,202,624 | 4,107,209 | 3.33%
    1940: | 132,164,569 | 532,431 | 0.40%
    1950: | 151,325,798 | 1,035,039 | 0.68%
    1960: | 179,323,175 | 2,515,479 | 1.40%
    1970: | 203,211,926 | 3,321,677 | 1.63%
    1980: | 226,545,805 | 4,493,314 | 1.98%
    1990: | 248,709,873 | 7,338,062 | 2.95%
    2000: | 281,421,906 | 9,095,417 | 3.23%
    2010: | 308,745,538 | 13,900,000 | 4.50%

  • EscherEnigma||

    The takeaway? Our historical "decade of immigrants"/population average is 4.22% with a standard deviation of 2.78% (meaning the lions share has ranged from 1.44% to 7%). Given our current population of 323.1 million, matching historical trends we would expect somewhere between 4.6 million immigrants over a decade to 22.6 million immigrants over a decade. So one million immigrants a year (or 10 million immigrants over a decade) is within historical norms, but also isn't close to exceeding those norms either.

    I expect, of course, that you'll consider the data provided and make decisions for yourself regarding whether the immigration rate for any given decade was positively or negatively correlated with the overall and vaguely defined "health" of the nation.

  • Crypto||

  • Deplorable Victor||

    ""shithole countries" in Africa, 40 percent of African immigrants are college graduates."

    Graduates from shithole African colleges...

  • MJBinAL||

    Hmm, yes, "Graduates fro shithole African colleges", the majority of which will collect federal benefits for life and never hold a job or be self supporting. Not to mention the family members they will bring over, including elderly parents who will immediately qualify for federal benefits as well.

    Yep, doing the jobs Americans won't do. (because we have a HUGE shortage of people willing to access government aid.)

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Unlike many of the anti-abortion and gun nuts, who merely hitched their political wagons to an electoral coalition built on intolerance and backwardness, those who hate and fear immigration genuinely are bigots.

    But bigotry and backwardness are bad bets in America over all but the shortest terms, so the nanny-state, anti-immigration right-wingers are destined to lose this one, just as conservatives have been losing in America throughout my lifetime.

  • MJBinAL||

    Rev,

    What specifically, are "those who hate and fear immigration" bigoted against? Get specific and back it up.

    Race? Seems unlikely since all races would be represented in the class "immigrants".
    Political Affiliation? Seems unlikely since all positions would be represented in the class "immigrants".

    No, the close minded one in the room is you. Oh, I realize that you have every right to your opinion. But I will point out you argue in bad faith. As usual, when a progressive is unable to defend his position with facts and logic, he resorts to accusing the other side of bigotry. SSDD

  • MJBinAL||

    It is nice of Steve to give Shitma the day off.

    With his writing, it is almost like she was here.

  • arm||

    This is one of those Reason articles you just have to shake your head at and prevents you for recommending this website to your friends.... yeah it is libertarian most of the time, but sometimes it is libertarded

    What if, in an effort of equality with the rest of the world, we simply matched the next highest country's immigration policy..... as is NOT pointed out in this article we are the #1 country in the world for legal immigration.... so lets just MATCH the #2 country, we can even take in 1 more person so we are still hold the #1 spot.....

    we would have to decrease our current legal immigration by 75.5%!!!!

    Also please state any country in the history of the world that has allowed illegal chain migrants to become voting citizens.... I will answer that for you... no country in the history of record keeping. Do the math, you could easily non-violently take over a country in a (reasonably) short time.

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