How the Trump Administration’s Plan Would Shape the Composition of Immigration: First Numerical Estimates

Report Author: 
Michael Clemens & Jimmy Graham
Original Date of Publication: 
January, 2018

The Trump Administration proposals for cuts to legal immigration are embodied in the Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 (H.R. 4760), filed in the U.S. House of Representatives in January, 2018. According to estimates in this report, the bill, if enacted, would substantially change the racial, religious and educational characteristics of new U.S. immigrants. The New Immigrant Survey, conducted in 2003, permits analysis of H.R. 4760’s potential impact on new immigrants’ characteristics. The survey posed race, religion and educational attainment questions to a representative sample of new legal arrivals to the U.S. New Immigrant Survey findings, applied to H.R. 4760, predict strong racial, religious and educational shifts resulting from the bill. The number of Black, Non-Hispanic immigrants, for example, would decline by 64 percent, Hispanic immigrants by 58 percent, and White, Non-Hispanic immigrants by 35 percent. As far as religion is concerned, Catholic immigration would drop by 54 percent and Muslim immigration by 53 percent due to the termination or reduction of visa categories under H.R. 4760.  Orthodox Christians would fall by 49 percent. Immigrants with less than a high school education would fall in number by 71 percent under the proposed reform, which eliminates several types of family reunification visas. Although the bill seeks to expand employment-based visas for high-skill immigrants, the number of such arrivals would nevertheless decline by 18 percent because of reduced visas for families and the end of Diversity Visas. In addition to presenting and explaining these findings, the authors provide a link to a spreadsheet which can be used to estimate the effects of other immigration reform proposals. (Rob Paral, Rob Paral  & Associates)

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Clemens, M., & Graham, J. (2018, January 30). How the Trump Administration’s Plan Would Shape the Composition of Immigration: First Numerical Estimates [Blog]. Retrieved May 15, 2018, from

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