President Donald Trump's fight to reform immigration has been a successful endeavor, the New York Times admitted Monday.
The cornerstone of the Trump campaign was immigration reform. As a candidate, he promised to build a border wall, tighten controls on which immigrants would be granted legal permanent status, and to restrict the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. per year.
Despite his continued fight to build the border wall — using such tactics as syphoning funds away from the Defense Department — Trump has succeeded in delivering on his promises.
Legal immigration has plummeted more than 11%, and, according to the Times, "a steeper drop is looming."
Between FY2016 and FY2018, the number of immigrants granted legal permanent status declined from 1,063,289 to 940,877, or 11.5%. Meanwhile, the National Foundation for American Policy projects that Trump's immigration policies will result in a net 30% decline in legal immigration by 2021.
"He's really ticking off all the boxes. It's kind of amazing," Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst with the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, told the Times. "In an administration that's been perceived to be haphazard, on immigration they've been extremely consistent and barreling forward."
In addition to decreases in legal immigration, the number of immigrant visas has dropped about 25% from FY2016 — from 617,752 to 462,422 — and Trump capped the refugee admittance at 18,000 this year, down from 110,000 in the last year of the Obama administration.
Two recent policy changes also reflect Trump's continued goal of sweeping immigration reform.
On Friday, Trump's so-called "travel ban" was extended to include Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar.
In addition, the Trump administration also won a temporary victory Friday when the Supreme Court issued an emergency stay allowing the administration's updated definition of "public charge" to temporarily take effect. Previously, U.S. immigration law prevented officials from granting legal permanent status to immigrants who would likely depend on government cash assistance. The Trump administration updated the definition of "public charge" last year to include immigrants who would depend on non-cash assistance, such as food stamps.