PBS NEWS HOUR: President Donald Trump has been stoking fears about immigrants in the days leading up to the midterm elections.
He’s tweeted anti-immigrant ads and threatened to revoke birthright citizenship, something lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said would be unconstitutional, as he campaigns to drive up Republican turnout.
In a Thursday speech, Trump, a vocal critic of illegal immigration long before he reached the White House, claimed it costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year.
“Illegal immigration hurts Americans workers, burdens American taxpayers and undermines public safety, and places enormous strains on local schools, hospitals and communities in general, taking precious resources away from the poorest Americans who need them most,” Trump said.
While Trump’s rhetoric has lately focused on unauthorized immigrants, his policies have targeted legal immigration as well. Under his administration, refugee admissions in 2017 dropped to their lowest since at least 2002. Trump signed an executive order tightening restrictions on HB1 visas for skilled immigrants. He has pushed for a merit-based immigration system, and his administration has proposed cutting public benefits to legal immigrants.
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Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clip shows undocumented immigrants from Central America waiting for assistance in a Catholic Charities relief center in McAllen, Texas. They had been detained and released by law enforcement. (Photo: Loren Elliott/Reuters)