Immigration Law

Trump's Misuse of Barbara Jordan's Legacy on Immigration - Susan F. Martin

Susan F. Martin, Feb. 5, 2018 - "After years of talking about a broken immigration system, President Trump offered a framework for immigration reform in his State of the Union address. In the lead-up to the address, the White House issued a statement on January 17 honoring Barbara Jordan, the former Chair of the US Commission on Immigration Reform. The White House intimated that Barbara Jordan would have supported the proposals to be championed by the President. The statement is a gross misstatement of Representative Jordan’s views. The President’s position on immigration, and the language he has used, represent all that Jordan decried during her long career and, especially as Chair of the commission. The statement misconstrues the recommendations of the Jordan Commission as justification for deep cuts in immigration that would make it harder for family members, employees and refugees to enter the country. As the Executive Director of the commission, I can attest to the fundamental differences between the Trump policies and Jordan’s and the commission’s recommendations. ...  the Trump administration would weaken the United States by placing irresponsible constraints on family reunification, refugee admissions and employment-based admissions while doing little to address the real causes of illegal immigration. The president’s policies are the opposite of Barbara Jordan’s view that a robust level of legal immigration is in the national interest. Even more critically, Jordan would have been the first person to speak up against the discriminatory intent and language in President Trump’s proposals. In her own words, “I believe the fact that America is a nation of immigrants should be a source of pride and not a reason to ignite virulent nationalism.”"

- Susan F. Martin, Ph.D., is the Donald G. Herzberg Emeritus Professor of International Migration and served as the Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.