By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City . Pres. Trump said he will give 1.8 million ‘illegal’ immigrants a path to citizenship in a 12-year span, particularly those who have the “education, work, and full character” shifting emphasis on merit-based immigration from family-based petitions.
In his first State of the Union address that lasted for one hour and 20 minutes, Trump’s immigration reform policy was among the most anticipated responses to a long-standing pressing national issue for recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The citizenship pathway is a relief for Dreamers, ensuring their future in the US. But on the other hand, more stringent immigration policies are forthcoming.
Trump said he will abolish the lottery of Green Cards, fully secure the border, and ensure merit based immigration, including ending chain migration limiting petitions for spouses and children only. DACA recipients and other immigrants would likely not be able to petition their parents and siblings in the Trump administration.
New York Post columnist F.H. Buckley wrote that Trump’s restrictionist policy of admitting only spouses and minor children and not parents and siblings will take in about 200,000 new immigrants under the family-based petitions per year instead of the usual 600,000.
Aries dela Cruz, of the Asian American Democratic Party, writes: “The State of the Union was a hateful attack on Filipino American immigrants like myself who came to this country as a result of family reunification and who were able to achieve our dreams of receiving a good education and contributing fully in our country’s civic and political life.
Let’s be clear about what this divisive speech is really about: Instead of lifting up this country and living up to its values as a sanctuary and a refuge, Donald Trump and the GOP want to end family reunification—the cornerstone of America’s immigration policy.
10,000 Filipino American Dreamers who were brought to this country and who know no other home are being used as pawns so that he can build up a deportation force and reduce the number of visas in every category from places like the Philippines. That is what is at stake and why we have to hold our leaders’ feet to the fire in the coming days as they cruelly bargain over the fate of these young people and the future of our families.”
I miss McCain in 2013 working hard to get an immigration bill.”