Donald Trump has repeatedly assured the American public that he is not a racist. However, the immigration policies he proposed during his State of the Union address on Jan. 30 would dramatically cut the number of black and Hispanic immigrants, according to an analysis by the Center for Global Development.
The Washington, D.C.-based think tank looked at the demographic profile of immigrants currently admitted under programs that Trump wants to end. These programs include the diversity program, which grants green cards to 50,000 immigrants through a lottery system, and the family reunification program, which allows US citizens and green-card holders to apply for visas for close relatives.
A big share of the immigrants in those categories come from Latin America and Africa, so they would be disproportionately affected if those visas disappear. The number of Hispanic and black immigrants who come under those two programs would drop by more than 60% under the proposed changes; the number of white immigrants, by 43%, according to the center’s data.
The center did a broader analysis based on cuts proposed in a Republican bill dubbed “Securing America’s Future Act,” which in addition to ending the visa lottery and cutting back family-based immigration, would reduce the number of refugees and asylees admitted into the US by more than half. It would also admit a bigger number of skilled workers.
Those policies would have a similar effect on black and Hispanic immigrants, while white immigrants would be even less affected.
The bill, if enacted, would also slash the number of Catholic and Muslim immigrants—again, because many of the beneficiaries of the visa lottery and family-based migration come from places in Africa and Latin America where those religions are common.
Republicans who support ratcheting back immigration say their goal is to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering the US, and to encourage more highly-skilled people to come. But the center’s data shows that the average years of immigrants’ education would actually fall, by .15 years.
Although the cuts would be much sharper for people without a high school diploma, the number of college-educated immigrants would also drop.