‘A New Kind of Immigration’: Trump’s New Immigration Strategy
President Donald Trump’s immigration policy has not been well-received by his base.
In his first 100 days, Trump has deported more than 6 million people and blocked more than 200,000 immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
And, as Vox’s Conor Friedersdorf and Emily Bazelon reported, the Trump administration has spent millions of dollars to try to stop immigrants from bringing back their relatives from Central America.
That strategy has met with resistance from many Republican lawmakers, who say it would be unfair to keep immigrants out of the country.
“What’s wrong with bringing a lot of families together?”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) asked Trump during a closed-door meeting in December.
“That’s not the issue that the American people are looking for.”
Trump is also facing a serious challenge from a Democratic-led Congress, which has refused to pass immigration reform.
Democrats, however, are hoping that the president’s immigration rhetoric will be enough to convince lawmakers to support their priorities.
The plan to deport more than 600,000 people per year will require the president to take in roughly 3.5 million immigrants annually, according the Migration Institute, which argues that it would make sense to target immigrants in high-risk countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
But the administration has already begun to expand that target, in part by expanding its definition of high- risk to include people from Central and South America, where many are still living in relative poverty.
Immigration policy has been a top issue in the 2018 midterm elections, and the president has repeatedly attacked the Republican Congress and their support for comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
But Republicans, who have largely opposed any immigration reform, have also argued that their focus is on immigration enforcement, and that the new approach could help them in the midterm elections.
The administration is hoping that by expanding the immigration target, the president will also be able to appeal to Latino voters who supported Trump in 2016.
“They’re going to be more sympathetic to us,” Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, said of Latino voters in a phone call last month.
“We’re going in with an immigration policy that’s going to appeal directly to their needs, and they’re going, ‘Wow, I like that,'” Trump said in a statement.
“This is going to make us more popular.
We’re going on the offensive.”