State of the Union: Trump Calls for Putting Americans First, But on Immigration It's Still Amnesty First
(January 31, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to President Trump's remarks on immigration during the State of the Union address:
"Just days after Congressional Democrats repudiated the very idea of meaningful immigration enforcement and legal immigration reforms, President Trump used his State of the Union address to reiterate the same proposal, offering too little to the American people and too much to the people who break our laws.
"Tonight's address, which focused on protecting the interests and security of the American people, was a missed opportunity for the president to make his case for the full panoply of reforms necessary to produce an immigration policy that truly serves the public interest. After declaring that the immigration policies of this nation must serve the interests of the American people, the president incongruously called for a 'down the middle compromise' with the people who broke our laws.
"Three of the pillars President Trump spoke about in his address are all needed and are a step in the right direction. As the president pointed out, we need to secure our borders, end catch-and-release policies, and address chain migration and the visa lottery. But, even as he boasted of offering amnesty to three times as many illegal aliens as his predecessor, the enforcement provisions he previously promised – mandatory E-Verify, curtailment of dangerous sanctuary policies, and other provision – have been scaled back dramatically. Further, the changes to chain migration and the visa lottery fall woefully short, as visas allocated under the lottery are simply reallocated, and chain migration won't end for decades.
"As unseemly as a deal that asks law-abiding Americans to accept a 'down the middle compromise' with illegal aliens is, it was immediately rejected by the Democratic leadership, which has abandoned any pretense of support for immigration enforcement and legal immigration reforms. The State of the Union offered the opportunity for the president to respond by challenging Congress to move forward with comprehensive legislation that secures our borders, protects American workers, enhances public safety, and reforms our legal immigration system by moving toward a merit-based model.
"President Trump has a partner in the effort to enact real immigration reform: the American people, who, as he noted, are dreamers too. In the weeks to come, he must rally their support to ensure that Congress fulfills their dreams of an immigration policy that serves and protects their interests."