The Impact of Administration Policies on Immigration Levels and Labor Force Growth

Date of Publication: 
February, 2020
Source Organization: 
National Foundation for American Policy

Trump administration policies are projected to reduce the annual level of legal immigration to the United States by30%, resulting in 350,000 fewer legal immigrants receiving permanent residence each year compared to the FY2016 level of 1,183,505, according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis. NFAP projectsin the long term that the average annual U.S. labor force growth, a key component of economic growth, will bebetween 35% and 59% lower in America as a result of Trump administration immigration policies, if the policiesremain in place. The significant decline in the annual level of legal immigration means lower long-term economicgrowth may be Donald Trump’s most lasting economic legacy.

The reduction in legal immigration will take place without any change in the law by Congress but as a result ofpolicies that include the public charge rule, the travel ban and lower admission of refugees. Depending onimplementation, the decline in legal immigration may be greater than 30%. Immigrant visas issued by U.S. consularofficers already have declined by 25% between FY 2016 and FY 2019, and that is before the public charge rulewent into effect. Fewer people will have the opportunity to live and work in the United States. Many Americancitizens will not be allowed to live in the United States with their spouse, child or parent, despite U.S. immigrationlaw as interpreted for decades.

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National Foundation for American Policy. (2020, February). The impact of administration policies on immigration levels and labor force growth (Policy Brief). Retrieved from