‘Trump effect’: Immigration growth has been cut by two-thirds

by WorldTribune Staff, October 22, 2020

President Donald Trump has made good on his pledge to significantly reduce annual “growth” in U.S. immigration.

President Donald Trump has used legislation and executive orders to close the border to illegal immigrants and slow the flow of legal immigration, especially of those arriving to take jobs.

Census Bureau data shows that, from 2017 to 2019, growth in the U.S. immigrant population (legal and illegal) averaged about 200,000 a year.

From 2010 to early 2017, during the Obama administration, that number was 650,000.

“In a new analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the Census data also showed another shift under Trump — far more immigrants left the country than entered,” Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard noted.

While changes in immigration are typically attributed to the U.S. economy, the CIS said a “Trump effect” was the cause.

“The slowdown in growth and net migration almost certainly reflects policy changes rather than a deterioration in the economy, as unemployment was low and job creation reasonably strong from 2017 to 2019,” said the CIS report.

Making good on campaign promises made when he first announced his presidential bid in June 2015, Trump has used legislation and executive orders to close the border to illegal immigrants and slow the flow of legal immigration, especially of those arriving to take jobs.

“Many commentators argue that immigration raises and falls with the economy largely outside the control of governmental policy,” said CIS director of research Steven Camarota. “The new numbers demonstrate otherwise. The economy was strong 2017 to 2019, yet policy changes seem to have significantly slowed the pace of immigration.”

The CIS report noted:

• The level of net migration among immigrants — the difference between the number of immigrants coming vs. those leaving — averaged 525,000 a year between 2017 and 2019, compared to about 950,000 a year between 2010 and 2017.

• The change in net migration was caused mostly by a large increase in out-migration. The analysis indicates that out-migration averaged 975,000 a year from 2017 to 2019 compared to about 470,000 in prior years.

• New arrivals also fell from a peak of 1.7 million in 2016 to 1.4 million in 2017 and 1.3 million in 2018. Data for the first part of 2019 indicate the number for 2019 is likely to be similar to 2017 and 2018.

• The slowdown in growth is entirely due to a decline in non-citizens in the country; the number of naturalized citizens continues to grow. This is an indication that illegal immigrants left or fewer arrived, primarily from Mexico.

• Although the pace of increase has slowed down, the nation’s immigrant population still hit a new record of 44.9 million in July 2019, an increase of 204,000 over 2018. The immigrant share of the population (13.7 percent) is the highest percentage in 109 years.


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