Donald Trump's immigration plan would discriminate against minorities and Muslims

A study by a nonprofit think tank has found that Trump's plan would preference white and non-Muslim immigrants

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 31, 2018 10:51AM (EST)

Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

If implemented, the immigration plan pushed during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address would disproportionately bar people of African descent, Hispanics, Muslims and Catholics, according to a recent study.

The Center for Global Development found that the most recent immigration reform proposal would reduce black (non-Hispanic) immigration to the United States by 63.9 percent and Hispanic (any race) immigration by 58.2 percent. By contrast, white (non-Hispanic) immigration would only be reduced by 34.6 percent, less than any of the other groups covered in the study. They were followed by Asians (non-Hispanic), who would see a 40.2 percent drop in their immigration numbers, and Pacific (non-Hispanic), who would see a 42.3 percent drop in their immigration numbers.

The survey also found that, among religious groups, the only two to see their numbers reduced by more than half were Muslims (who would experience a 53.2 percent reduction) and Catholics (who would experience a 53.8 percent reduction). Hindus, Jews and Protestants would all see the lowest impact.

The White House promoted the president's planned immigration policies by saying the administration's focus is on border security, closing loopholes that impede expeditious deportation of undocumented immigrants, ending the visa lottery program, only allowing family-based immigration sponsorships to occur for spouses and children and only providing legal status for DACA recipients and other immigrants that are DACA-eligible.

During his speech, the president identified "four pillars" to his plan, all of which were consistent with the themes of his press release. The first "generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age," the second "fully secures the border," the third "ends the visa lottery" and the fourth "protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Immigration Immigration Reform Undocumented Immigrants