But the mantra is “we support legal immigration” July 25, 2020 by Robert Huntington “We only oppose illegal immigration.” Trump Cuts Legal Immigrants By Half And He’s Not Done Yet Donald Trump has reduced legal immigration by an estimated 49%, which will have a significant negative impact on U.S. economic growth. www.forbes.com
There’s more to that than meets the eye!
At the top layer, Trump ran on cutting immigration and he’s delivered on it. I don’t know if he actually promised to only reduce illegal immigration, but if so, the public is like Sam Spade, “You lied, but we didn’t believe you, so that makes it OK.”
A layer below, Pew (IIRC) has been taking surveys on the public’s attitude toward immigration, and the balance has been the public wants less immigration, even legal immigration, every year from 1965 to 2019. So it doesn’t seem surprising that a presidential candidate would run on a chronically popular position.
Where it gets interesting is that the above survey has only rarely been mentioned in the press, and that over most of those years, both parties have officially been favorable to immigration. So that leads to uncomfortable questions about why the government has consistently run contrary to the desires of “the people”.
There is also the effect that the public (and Congress) generally moves *away* from the party and policies of the current President. And that has held true here — for the first time in 55 years, the public is on balance in favor of *increased* immigration.