Immigration in the National Security Strategy

The Trump administration released its National Security Strategy (NSS) which sets forth a strategic vision for protecting the American people, preserving their way of life, promoting prosperity and preserving the peace. The most recent NSS delves deeper into a topic that has been only briefly discussed in previous NSS documents – immigration. The administration submits several priority actions to reform the current immigration system including enhanced border and transportation security and increased vetting of prospective immigrants and enforcement of immigration laws.

NSS Assertion #1: Immigration Poses a National Security Threat

While the NSS refers to several valid concerns such as terrorism and transnational criminal networks, the document also inaccurately states that illegal immigration burdens the economy and hurts American workers. It categorizes immigration as an issue of national security, stating that our current immigration system is too lenient in its allowance for randomized entry and extended-family chain migration. The NSS does not specify what national security risks are posed by legal immigration other than, “porous borders and unenforced immigration laws had created a host of vulnerabilities”.

The document highlights the need for increased efforts to identify and counter immigration fraud. By enforcing immigration laws such as the removal of undocumented entrants at the border, the administration hopes to provide an effective deterrent to what it calls “illegal” immigration. The administration states that it intends to work with foreign partners to raise security standards and prevent suspicious individuals from entering the country.

NSS Assertion #2: Student Visas Pose a National Security Threat

The document addresses another potential security threat – student visas. According to the NSS, the administration will consider placing additional restrictions on certain foreign students seeking to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to prevent the transfer of technological and intellectual property information. The restriction is seemingly placed upon students from countries under sanctions – and therefore more likely to contribute to nuclear proliferation. However, the document later insinuates that students from countries not under sanction, such as China, may also be subject to such restrictions.

Criticism for the NSS’s Stance on Immigration

By stating that immigration and student visas pose national security threats, the Trump administration has opened itself up to criticism. Critics highlight the NSS’s unconventional in-depth treatment of immigration and its reference to controversial immigration issues. A former U.S. counter-terrorism official stated that not only was the discussion regarding revamping the current immigration system an inappropriate topic for the NSS, it also improperly dissuades valuable workers from pursuing immigration and sends the wrong message to people seeking to come to America to pursue their dreams.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Protect the Rights of Immigrants

If you are experiencing an issue regarding immigration, the multilingual Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can help you through this difficult time. For over 15 years, we have been representing clients with all types of immigration issues including: removal, deportation, appeals, immigration court, Board of Immigration Appeals, federal court, family visas, asylum, business visas, employment/work visas, non-immigrant visas, labor certification and abuse petitions. Our experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers have extensive knowledge of immigration law and can help you through every stage of the process. From our office in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout the surrounding area. Contact us online or call 215-925-4435 today to discuss your case.