[Update: As the article cited below notes, this immigration record was set in 2016, before the Trump Administration began. These are the latest figures available. It remains to be seen if the Trump Administration has put a meaningful dent in these figures.]
The Trump Administration has a lot of work to do if it is to reverse the damage inflicted on America by the immigration disaster. The situation when it took power is literally the worst it has ever been.
The U.S. tied its all-time record for new immigration — both legal and illegal — in 2016, with 1.75 million arrivals, according to a new study Wednesday.
The Center for Immigration Studies, which is releasing the report, says the increase is part of a post-Great Recession rebound that’s quickly changing the demographics of the U.S.
The surge was driven chiefly by Latin America, which saw its numbers double from about 335,000 in 2011 to 668,000 in 2016, pushing it past Asia as the top-sending region.
“The dramatic increase in new immigrants settling in the United States in recent years is primarily driven by the nation’s generous legal immigration system, both long-term temporary visa holders (e.g. guest workers and foreign students) and new permanent residents (green cards),” wrote Steven A. Camarota, research director at the center.
Mr. Camarota used data from the American Community Survey to calculate the numbers. The 2016 data is the most recent available.
The 1.75 million tied with 1999 — just before the tech-bubble recession — as the highest year of all time. It was up from 1.62 million in 2015, and just 1.08 million in 2011, the trough of the Great Recession dearth.
[Total immigration to U.S. ties all-time record, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, October 31, 2018]
Immigration was, unquestionably, the driving force behind the Trump campaign and what drove many of his most fervent supporters to the polls, especially in the primaries. Yet on the brink of the midterm elections, there is no wall and President Trump is still not mentioning the remittance tax as a way to pay for it. It represents a stunning squander of political capital.
Of course, President Trump has been hampered by outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan and other elements of the GOP who have sabotaged his agenda from the start. There may be fewer (but better) Republicans after the midterms. Progress is not impossible. It is a great victory in itself that President Trump is discussing abolishing birthright citizenship. The migrant caravan may also force President Trump into direct action, as an estimated 15,000 troops are on their way to the border [Trump defends military presence on border and says 'I do try' to tell the truth, by Jonathan Karl, Devin Dwyer and Meghan Keneally, ABC News, October 31, 2018].
President Trump has a way of getting it right in the end. And it's not a bad thing that immigration is commanding the headlines in the days before the midterm elections. Let's hope it is not too late.