Pelosi Goes Low And Drags Melania Trump Into The Mud, Makes Brazen, Unsubstantiated Claims
Melania Trump is only the second first lady of the United States not born in America; the first, Louisa Adams was born in England.
Melania Trump has aligned with the President on her beliefs about the immigration process — that it must be approached legally and by-the-book. She has several times said publicly that she lawfully went through the steps to become a citizen shortly after she began working and living in America in 1996.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, invoked First Lady Melania Trump during a verbal attack against the White House’s immigration proposal.
Pelosi made the accusation that the President Trump was somehow a hypocrite for wanting a merit-based immigration system.
“When the president says merit – turn it upside down. It means make America white again, have people leave, just go back and we’ll just let in people we like,” Pelosi said while speaking at Commonwealth Club of California.
“I don’t know merit counted for when his wife’s family came into the country. I don’t know. Maybe it did. God bless them if it did. But he calls that chain migration, which he wants to get rid of — family unification, instead call it merit,” the California Democrat added. The comment by Pelosi was clearly about Melania’s parents, who became U.S. citizens after she sponsored them.
Melania’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were originally from Slovenia before moving to their home in Maryland.
They officially became American citizens in August 2018 when they took their oath of citizenship at a ceremony in New York City.
Foreign nationals who become permanent residents or American citizens have the ability to sponsor their immediate relatives to join them in the U.S.
This is a process that is typically referred to “chain migration.” President Donald Trump, who has made immigration reform a hallmark of this administration, has constantly railed against the practice.
The president revealed his long-awaited immigration proposal earlier in May. A major part of the plan includes shifting the U.S. chain migration system to a more merit-based system.
The administration would have a high priority on high-skilled immigrants, offering more visas to those who are better educated, financially self-sufficient, younger and have job offers waiting for them in the country.
“Random selection is contrary to American values and blocks out many qualified potential immigrants from around the world,” Trump said as he announced his plan. “This will bring us in line with other countries and make us globally competitive.”
The White House laid out its immigration plans to Congress on Thursday. Among many factors within this plan is the Trump administration’s hope to curb what it calls “chain migration.” President Trump is also expected to address immigration in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night just as Congress gears up to tackle immigration reform in the coming weeks.
What is “chain migration”?
“Chain migration” — officially known as “family reunification” under federal law — is the process by which green card holders or legal U.S. residents may sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States.
It is the most common legal form of immigration to the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 238,087 immigrants were categorized as a “family-sponsored preference” in 2016, and 566,706 came as “immediate relatives of U.S. citizens” (spouses, children, or parents).
Between 60 and 70 percent of all lawful permanent immigration to the United States in the past decade has family-based roots.
The application process for the permanent residency of certain family members varies depending on the petitioners’ status of green card holder vs. citizen.
Citizenship is not automatically granted to those who are sponsored by their family members in the United States, and the waiting period with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can last anywhere from a few months to decades.
Why does President Trump want to end “chain migration”?
The White House’s most recent immigration proposal aims to limit chain migration to only spouses and minor children while excluding sponsorship of extended family.
Mr. Trump claims that immigrants entering the country through chain migration take jobs away from U.S. citizens and pose a threat to national security. The Trump administration has expressed its goal to move away from chain migration and toward a “merit-based” means of immigration, or a system that prioritizes highly educated, english speaking immigrants.
Mr. Trump announced his administration’s opposition to the system after the New York City terror attack on Halloween that killed 8 people and injured 12 more, although the suspect in that attack entered the country through the diversity visa lottery program, which is separate from chain migration.
The Trump administration re-upped its call to end the chain migration system when suspect Akayed Ullah attempted to bomb the passageway under 42nd Street connecting the subway stations at Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in December. CBS News confirmed that Ullah entered the country from Bangladesh in February 2011 through chain migration sponsorship, although he became a legal permanent resident of the United States.
They claim that as a result of chain migration, “The large influx of predominantly low-skilled migrants has had substantial fiscal and national security consequences.”
So, is it “chain migration” or “family reunification”?
While “chain migration” and “family reunification” refer to the same process, both have partisan implications. When chain migration first started appearing in academic texts in the 1960s, it was not a pejorative term. Roughly ten years later, the term family reunification entered the immigration lexicon.
Democrats and progressives says that “chain migration” has become a loaded term and have thus adopted the term family reunification, while their Republican counterparts typically stick with chain migration. The Trump administration has favored chain migration over family reunification. In fact, a Google Trends search yields a large uptick in the popularity of chain migration vs. family reunification during the first year of the Trump presidency.
President Donald Trump announced his new immigration proposal aimed at moving the United States’ immigration system toward one that prioritizes high-skilled workers over people with family links to the US.
His “merit-based, high-security plan” drew cool reception from political leaders on both sides of the aisle. For now, the plan is just a speech — more than anything else, it’s his immigration platform for his 2020 reelection campaign.