Trump Ties Immigration To National Security In Demanding End To Chain Migration

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

President Donald Trump once again called on lawmakers to end the U.S. system of chain migration, continuing his push for immigration reforms in the wake of a terrorist attack by a diversity visa winner in New York.

“Congress must end chain migration so that we can have a system that is SECURITY BASED!” Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. “We need to make AMERICA SAFE!”

The president’s latest attack on chain migration, a process where recent arrivals can sponsor family members for immigrant visas of their own, came shortly after he met with Republican leaders about a potential bill to legalize recipients of the now-canceled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump has insisted that any DACA amnesty also include robust border security measures, but it remains unclear if he would ask for changes to family-based immigration as a part of the deal.

Even before Tuesday’s attack, Trump had repeatedly tied immigration reform to broader questions of national security, but he has hammered the point home in the days since. Shortly after revealing that the attacker, a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan, was a diversity visa lottery winner, Trump said he would encourage lawmakers to eliminate the program.

“I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Trump told reporters at the outset of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program.”

“Diversity lottery — sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good” he added.

As for possible reforms to family-based immigration, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said Thursday that Trump and other Republican lawmakers at the meeting agreed on whittling down the categories of family members that could be sponsored.

“American citizens, green-card holders of all kinds would no longer be able to get a green card for anyone other than their spouse and their unmarried minor child,” Cotton said of the consensus, according to The Hill.

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