THE STORY: The Trump administration is planning to prohibit granting asylum to immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally. The new rules will require asylum seekers to enter through official ports of entry like border crossings.
THE CONTEXT: The Trump administration’s move to change asylum rules is being widely perceived as a way to crack down on asylum seekers coming from Central America. President Trump has said he wants to do something about immigrants who he says falsely claim asylum and stay in the U.S. while waiting for the outcome of their asylum cases. Immigration lawyers say that restricting who gets asylum based on immigration status goes against the law. The move is part of a larger push by the Trump administration to clamp down on all forms of immigration. The administration has cut back on the number of refugees the U.S. accepts and also announced rules that discourage legal immigrants from using public benefits.
WHAT’S NEXT: Trump is expected to announce which countries the new asylum rules will apply to today. The ruling could be challenged in federal court.
Read further in this story from the New York Times.
THE STORY: Studies show that immigrants have less of a negative fiscal impact on the U.S. than native-born Americans.
THE CONTEXT: A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that first-generation immigrants were the only generation, immigrant and native, that contributed more in taxes than they used public benefits in the year 2013. Also, the National Academies of Sciences found that projecting into the future, immigrant groups with a high school diploma or above, end up making an overall positive fiscal contribution. The NAS also found that many immigrant groups made a larger fiscal contribution than those born in the U.S.
WHAT’S NEXT: As political rhetoric paints immigrants as a financial drain on the U.S. and the Trump administration tries to prevent immigrants from getting access to public funds, it’s important to remember that in the long run, immigrants give the U.S. an economic boost.
Read further in this opinion piece from Bloomberg.
THE STORY: Contrary to presidential rhetoric, there isn’t actually an immigration crisis in the U.S.
THE CONTEXT: While President Trump routinely calls the state of immigration in the U.S a “crisis”, the numbers appear to show otherwise. Border arrests, the metric most often used to measure unlawful border crossings, are historically low. In the 2018 fiscal year there were 396,579 border arrests. The average over the last decade was 400,751. Going back further, in the 1980s and 90s yearly border arrests were regularly in the millions. They hit a high in 2000, when arrests reached more than 1.6 million. Suffice it to say, there are less undocumented immigrants coming to the U.S., yet Trump’s rhetoric makes it look like illegal immigration is getting much, much worse.
WHAT’S NEXT: While Trump ramped up his focus on illegal immigration in the lead up to the midterms in an effort to rally his base, don’t expect the issue to die down, especially as Trump turns his sights to 2020.
Read more in this piece from Politico.