Things That Matter

Here’s Your Brief Breakdown Of President Trump’s Immigration Policy In His State Of The Union Address

President Trump gave his first State of the Union address, and it almost made history.

The speech came in as the third longest State of the Union address behind Bill Clinton, who has the two longest. During the one hour and 20-minute long address, Trump covered myriad topics, from infrastructure spending to immigration. As per custom, the president invited guests to sit in the audience during his speech. Those guests included parents of teenage girls killed by gang members, law enforcement officers, active and retired military, a member of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a North Korea defector. Trump pushed for slowing immigration in order to curb violence he believes immigrants inflict on the country, and spoke about his 4-point plan to limit immigration.

Here’s a quick overview of his immigration plan.

President Trump opened up the immigration portion of his speech talking about gang violence and murders.

“Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families,” Trump said. “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.”

Trump likened unaccompanied minors to MS-13 gang members, stating that “these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal, unaccompanied, alien minors.” This was after he pointed out Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, whose two daughters were killed by MS-13 gang members on Long Island.

That opening was a segue to discuss a “four-pillar plan” to tackle immigration reform.

First, Trump wants to offer as many as 1.8 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. According to The Washington Post, that number comes from 1.3 million people who meet all the requirements from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This includes certain age requirements, education levels of a high school diploma or the equivalent, their current age, and when they entered the U.S. The other 500,000 would be chosen because they are either under 15 or they meet all DACA requirements except for the educational component. This is a stark change from the hard-line stance of no amnesty and no citizenship from the past.

Second, he wants $25 billion in American tax dollars to pay for the border wall since Mexico is not paying for it. According to David Aguilar, a former Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and former National Chief of the United States Border Patrol, what’s most wanted is more personnel. Some of the money Trump wants will pay for more personnel but he was clear about wanting money for the border wall.

Third, Trump wants to end the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program that he blames for recent terror attacks in New York City. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, referred to as the visa lottery program, was created to boost immigration from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of State, the program offers 50,000 visas annually to people who meet strict requirements before being allowed to enter the U.S. Some of the countries with the highest number of visa winners include The Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Fourth, Trump wants to end “chain migration.” This is also referred to as “family reunification” but is officially known as Family Based-Immigrant Visas. These break down into two categories, according to the U.S. Department of State‘s website: Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas and Family Preference Immigrant Visas. The first one is for immediate family members such as spouses, unmarried children under 21, adopted orphans, and the parents of U.S. citizens under 21. The second category is for unmarried children, minor children, spouses, married children and their children, and siblings with their spouses and children if the sponsor is a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old.

Trump also took a shot at Dreamers during a turbulent time.

During the speech, Trump used his platform to undermine the struggles and fears of Dreamers as they face an uncertain future. According to a CBS News poll, 87 percent of the American public approve of giving DACA recipients citizenship. Seventy-nine percent of Republican voters are in favor of legalizing a community that has been here since childhood.

If you want to learn more about what Trump said at the State of the Union, click here to read the full transcript.

READ: Trump Plans To Offer DACA Recipients Citizenship If U.S. Tax Dollars Can Be Used To Pay For The Border Wall

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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