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For the past decade, attempts at immigration reform have failed because open borders special interests in both parties have dominated the discussion. The framework laid out by the White House represents mainstream, common sense approach to immigration.

SECURING THE BORDER: President Donald J. Trump’s Administration has taken action to secure the border, but the United States has seen an uptick in attempted illegal entries and more resources are needed to accomplish the job.

  • In fiscal year (FY) 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded 310,531 apprehensions by Border Patrol agents, 303,916 of which were on the Southwest border.
    • More than 97% of all CBP apprehensions occurred on the Southwest border.
    • In FY 2017, ten percent of aliens apprehended by CBP had been previously apprehended on at least one other occasion.
  • Criminal organizations continually exploit border vulnerabilities and legal loopholes to help illegal aliens gain entry into the United States.
  • In FY 2017, CBP apprehended 20,131 criminal aliens and another 10,908 individuals wanted by law enforcement.
  • December 2017 marked the eighth month in a row that southwest border apprehensions increased.
  • CBP remains concerned about the steady increase in the flow of unaccompanied children and family units.
    • Family-unit apprehensions and inadmissible cases at the Southwest border reached approximately 105,000 by the end of the year.
    • CBP’s daily southwest border inadmissible/apprehended numbers averaged 1,132 in January 2018 to-date.
  • The U.S. cannot truly secure its borders without legislative reforms to close loopholes that prevent the prompt return of illegal aliens who do not have a legitimate claim for asylum.

ENDING EXTENDED-FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION: President Trump wants to keep nuclear families together while reforming our current legal immigration system, so it no longer serves as a conduit for low-skilled immigration.

  • Under our current immigration system, more than 70 percent of immigrants entering the United States do so based on family ties rather than on skill or merit.
    • Our current law allows new immigrants to sponsor various members of their extended families for immigration to the United States.
    • Between 2005 and 2016, the U.S. admitted more than 70 percent of lawful immigrants based on family ties alone.
  • Chain migration has been a leading source of low-skilled immigration into the United States, hurting vulnerable American workers.
  • Our current immigration system puts a strain on federal resources and burdens American taxpayers.
    • Half of all immigrant-headed households receive benefits from at least one welfare program.

CANCELING THE VISA LOTTERY: President Trump has called for the cancelation of the visa lottery system, which selects applicants at random and has been subject to fraud and abuse.

  • Currently, about 50,000 immigrants enter the United States each year through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly called the visa lottery or Green Card lottery.
  • Individuals are selected at random to apply for a visa that permits permanent residence in the United States, and the qualifying criteria are very low.
    • Eligible countries have low levels of immigration to the U.S. over the last 5 years.
    • The program requires participants to have only a high school education or two years of work experience.
  • Upon entering the United States, those who have received a Green Card may eventually gain U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
  • The visa lottery has been highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
    • A 2003 report by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found the visa lottery system is subject to widespread abuse.
    • A 2007 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the program was vulnerable to fraudulent activity.

PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR A DACA FIX THAT ENDS CHAIN MIGRATION, ELIMINATES THE VISA LOTTERY, AND SECURES THE BORDER: Recent polling shows Americans support turning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy into a lawful policy in exchange for ending chain migration, the visa lottery, and border security.

  • According to a recent Harvard-Harris poll, 58 percent of those polled oppose shutting down the government over the DACA program.
  • 65 percent of those polled would support an immigration deal that gives work permits and a path to citizenship to aliens brought to the U.S. by their parents in exchange for prioritizing merit-based immigration over family ties, ending the visa lottery, and providing border security funding.
  • More than three quarters of those polled, 79 percent, believe immigration policy should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America rather than on family ties.
  • 68 percent opposed the visa lottery system which randomly selects up to 50,000 foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States.