Illegal immigrants are not sure what to expect from the Trump administration, but it’s a safe bet that the president won’t be issuing any new DACA-like orders anytime soon. Instead, he has ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to step up deportations, he’s leaning on sanctuary cities to bring them into legal compliance, and he’s ridding the country of the criminal waste that floated up here from Mexico and Central America.
But when it comes to noncitizens here on visas, green cards, and other temporary visitation clearance, Trump is leaving open a long-established, expedited pathway to citizenship: military service. According to Fox News, a Defense Department official told them that the U.S. military would continue the policy, allowing troops and their families to gain citizenship through service.
“Today’s service members are eligible for expedited citizenship under a July 2002 executive order and the military services have worked closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline citizenship processing for service members,” Lt. Col. Myles Caggins told Fox News. “Law ensures that the sacrifice of noncitizens during a time of national need is met with an opportunity for early citizenship, to recognize their contribution and sacrifice.”
You wouldn’t know it from the way the media carries on, but Donald Trump was very much a pro-immigration candidate. So this comes as no surprise whatsoever. Trump’s focus was and always will be on the criminals and the drugs and the gang violence that a poorly-secured border allows into the U.S. Yes, there are economic concerns as well when it comes to various student and worker visas, and yes, there is a problem with visitors who simply extend their stay indefinitely, but those are issues we can deal with. Those are the issues a civilized country SHOULD be dealing with.
But we can’t, because previous administrations have allowed this free-for-all at the Mexican border to get worse and worse. And no one made it worse than Obama, who resented Congress’s inability to pass immigration reform so much that he started hanging carrots out there for would-be immigrants to chase.
All this to say, it’s redundant for Trump’s critics to lean on the old “America is a nation of immigrants” storyline. Trump isn’t anti-immigrant. He’s anti-ILLEGAL immigrant, which is a distinction the media refuses to make. He has this weird belief that the United States should enforce its own laws. Crazy, right?
Immigration is fine.
But it’s also fine for us to be more selective about who gets in.