Foreign Policy Magazine

Trump’s Massive Miscalculation

How the current administration totally misunderstands the economics of immigration.

NO ISSUE IS AS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED with U.S. President Donald Trump’s ascendancy as immigration, but those who thought his only concern was stopping illegal immigration weren’t paying close attention. Trump’s ugly campaign rhetoric may have focused on illegal immigration—building walls, protecting Americans’ jobs, and stopping a largely imagined crime wave—but, behind the scenes, candidate Trump was working closely with hard-liners who have long lobbied for cutting legal immigration drastically.

In a mostly ignored 2015 campaign policy paper titled “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again,” Trump promised, “Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause

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