The Already Conservative Immigration Deal That Sparked Trump’s ‘S***hole’ Comments

By now, the entire world has heard Donald Trump’s remarks on an immigration proposal pitched to him on Thursday. The President of the United States asked a room full of Senators why the United States should be accepting immigrants from “sh—hole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations.

By “sh—hole” countries, what Trump actually meant was countries that are occupied by people of color and that have faced economic destruction, environmental disaster, violence, and war. What could have prompted such repugnant words from the mouth of a world leader?

Here’s the truth of the matter: Donald Trump is a racist.

The “bipartisan” immigration reform deal presented to the president on Thursday was conservative in the first place. It represented a compromise, yes, but conceded to significant Republican concerns that are arguably anti-immigrant to negotiate a DACA fix. In other words: if Trump wants the deal to move further to the right, we should all be worried.

The plan as presented represents a level of xenophobia that stands contrary to American values.

The Senate plans on moving ahead with the proposal despite Trump’s rejection (even though he appeared to support the deal in a White House meeting on Tuesday). Here are its highlights (and “lowlights”):

Obtaining Legal Status

Allowing young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to obtain legal status, and eventually citizenship. This part of the proposal would require those who apply to meet specific requirements. But those have yet to be determined.

First, those who qualify would get provisional legal status.

After a certain number of years they would be allowed to apply for green cards, and after three to five, they would be able to apply for citizenship. This actually does not wholly apply to DACA recipients due to the plan’s racist, xenophobic undertones.

Preventing So-Called ‘Chain Migration’

Preventing “chain migration” by preventing the parents of DREAMers from becoming US citizens. In Trump’s America, it’s one step forward, one step back in time. The bill will prevent DREAMers from sponsoring their parents for citizenship by making those DREAMers ineligible to get green cards. They’re doing this to punish the parents of DREAMers.

Instead, they would get a form of legal status that they can renew every three years. Does that sound like a “bill of love” to you?

Eliminating Visa Lotto

Eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and reallocating the 50,000 visas currently used for it. Some of the visas would go to immigrants from “underrepresented countries,” whatever that means, and some would go to immigrants who are about to lose Temporary Protected Status. Under the deal, people with TPS could get green cards.

Just a few billion dollars for the border. Trump requested $18 billion. He’s going to get a fraction of that because, well, the wall is a waste of money.

Although Trump said Tuesday he’d support a “clean” DACA bill; his remarks were later erased from the official White House transcript. The administration is demanding that they receive:

  • More money for the border.
  • A policy that restricts categories of family-based visas for future legal immigrants, not only the families of DREAMers.

Think this isn’t about racism? Think again. The deal above already treats immigrants like aliens, not human beings. The White House is pushing an extremist anti-immigrant agenda that we need to stop in its tracks.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) are negotiating the deal. Call your Senators regarding your concerns. Now is the time to stand up for the rights of immigrants.

Featured Image via Molly Adams via Flickr/CC-By-2.0.

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