FEB. 3, 2018

“Four Pillars” of Trump’s Immigration Plan

by Atty. Emmanuel S. TIPON

The following, in President Trump’s own words, without any addition or deletion by anybody, are the “Four Pillars” of his immigration plan which he discussed in his State of the Union address delivered today, January 30, 2018.

“Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise—one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age—that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period.

The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a great wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country—and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of "catch and release."

The third pillar ends the visa lottery—a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system—one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let's come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.”


Analysis and Comment:

Are these four pillars like the legs of a chair? If so, then they must all be enacted into law otherwise the chair cannot stand.

Many in the Republican Party, especially the conservatives, are strongly opposed to a “path to citizenship” for 1.8 million illegal aliens.

The Democrats will not vote for the plan if there is no “path to citizenship” for 1.8 million illegal aliens. These illegal aliens will become a bountiful harvest of new Democrat voters.

Building a wall at the Southern border is the centerpiece of the plan. The Democrats will not vote for a wall.

Visa lottery is a “Las Vegas style” policy that does not serve the national interest and should be discarded. Merit-based immigration serves the national interest and should be adopted in full.  Most would agree to enact these proposals into law.

Protecting the “nuclear family” by allowing sponsorship of only a spouse and minor child so as to end “chain migration” is like a nuclear bomb. Many will oppose it because it would bar adult children from being petitioned by their parents and brothers and sisters from being petitioned by their siblings. Family immigration has been at the center of American immigration policy for decades. Family-oriented Filipinos, Mexicans, Chinese, and other nationalities will oppose any limitation of current family immigration policy. They have many sympathizers in Congress.

Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Democratic Party whip, who sat stone faced during the President’s address, reportedly rejected “the notion that a deal to protect the so-called Dreamers must include other provisions reducing illegal immigration”. Hoyer, who was said to have talked with Senate Democrats and Republicans, reportedly remarked that “House Democrats were never on board with all four provisions.”  The Hill.

So, what are the chances of the “four pillars” becoming law?

RECOMMENDATION: U.S. citizens who have alien adult children and siblings should petition for them now because if the fourth pillar is enacted into law, they will never be able to petition for such relatives. Even if the fourth pillar is enacted into law, it is likely that there will be a “grandfather” clause protecting those already petitioned.


ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School where he specialized in Constitutional Law. He has also a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the Philippine Bar Examination in 1956. His current practice focuses on immigration law and criminal defense. He writes law books for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. He has a radio show in Honolulu, Hawaii with his son Noel, senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon law firm, where they discuss legal and political issues. Office: American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 2305, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. 96813. Tel. (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Website: www.bileckilawgroup.com. He was born in Laoag City, Philippines. He served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He is co-author with former Judge Artemio S. Tipon of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” and co-author of “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon has personally experienced the entire immigration cycle by entering the United States on a non-immigrant working visa to write law books, adjusting his status to that of a lawful permanent resident, and becoming a naturalized United States citizen

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