Commentary

'Anti-Immigrant' Trump Just Saw a Five-Year High in Legal Citizenship Application Approvals

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By now, you’ve probably heard the claim a hundred times: Conservatives hate immigrants, and the Trump administration can’t stand anybody who is from another country.

But does that liberal narrative hold up in the real world? No, as it turns out. New statistics show the opposite, confounding leftists who can’t seem to grasp the difference between “legal” and “illegal” immigration.

According to The Washington Times, the number of citizenship approvals for legal immigrants applying to become Americans reached a five-year high last year. That information was part of a report recently released by the Department of Homeland Security.

“Those numbers contradict the criticisms of congressional Democrats who had complained about backlogs building at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Homeland Security branch that handles legal immigration,” the newspaper noted.

And remember, the five-year record high isn’t just for citizenship applications, but approvals. That means that foreigners who follow the legal process are being welcomed at a fairly high rate, although there has been a backlog for several years.

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When The Times dug into the immigration issue, it found that the backlog in citizenship applications actually began during the Obama administration, not under Trump. Yet liberals continue to point fingers at the current president almost exclusively.

But numbers don’t lie. According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration CIS naturalized 756,800 new citizens in the 2018 fiscal year, a 16 percent increase over 2014.

Alongside the false narrative about the current administration hating immigrants, you’ve probably heard the claim that the Trump team also blocks asylum seekers. That issue became a major talking point after numerous migrant caravans from Central America reached the border over the past year.

But again, the facts just don’t match the “anti-asylum” narrative.

Do you think conservatives are generally welcoming of legal immigrants?

“The new report also suggests that far from a crackdown, the government is processing more asylum-seeker petitions than any of the last four years,” The Washington Times stated. “That included a 61 percent increase from 2017 to 2018 in affirmative asylum applications.”

Connected to the asylum issue is the disturbing fact that fraud is rampant in the border zone.

Basically, many migrants are trying to take advantage of the system by making false claims of persecution back home, or even using young children who are not relatives to fraudulently apply as families.

Sorting through that difficult issue and determining which asylum applications are legitimate is no easy task. “[T]he Fraud Detection and National Security division reported 149,3000 investigative leads or actions year — a 14 percent increase over 2017,” the newspaper noted.

“That included 30,400 tips of fraud, 7,600 national security matters and nearly 17,000 public safety matters,” it continued.

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In other words, it’s a tough job but the administration is pushing through it.

The big takeaway from all this, of course, is just how wrong liberals are when they rail against an allegedly “anti-immigrant” and “hateful” Trump.

Differentiating between lawful immigrants who follow the process to become citizens and rule-breakers who don’t respect our laws shouldn’t be that difficult to understand, yet the narrative is repeated endlessly.

Another takeaway, though, is just how much of a magnet the United States still is for those who want a better life. While so many on the left, in the media and in Hollywood want to paint the Trump era as horrible and oppressive, it seems millions of foreigners disagree.

Customs and Immigration Services has taken in more than 2 million naturalization applications in the past two years, according to The Post.

Those people sure don’t seem to view the United States as a terrible place, but rather go out of their way to come here. The booming Trump economy is certainly one factor, but American exceptionalism overall seems to be as much of a draw as ever.

This should silence critics who rail against the American system and seek to dramatically change it, going all the way to pushing their visions of socialism on the country. Of course, those critics will never be silenced as they push their giant-government agendas.

The seekers of freedom and opportunity around the world don’t want socialism or collectivism — or they’d be lining up to enter Venezuela and Cuba instead of the United States.

They are drawn to what we already have: A republic where the government is constrained, power is distributed, and there are opportunities to achieve without false promises of perfectly equal results.

That’s worth preserving, because if it disappears, it may not return to the globe for a very long time.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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