Donald Trump’s Migration Policy: Pros and Cons


Fighting unwanted immigration was one of the main topics of Donald Trump during his election campaign. Trump considered it necessary to change legislation, take measures against illegal immigration, and put pressure on other countries to prevent illegal immigrants’ flow to the United States. The President believed that an increase in the number of refugees from the Middle East inevitably entailed the growth of the terrorist threat and the spread of radical Islamism in the USA. Nevertheless, his opponents were convinced that Trump’s policies violated many international agreements and fundamental legal documents of the United States itself. For example, this concerns the First Amendment to the American Constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on religion, as well as the Geneva Convention on Refugees, according to which the United States has committed itself to accepting refugees. Thus, although Trump saw only advantages in his migration policy, critics found many adverse consequences in his actions.

Policy Formulation

The essence of Trump’s position is to overcome the threat of terrorism, which is associated with the flow of migrants. Bauder (2020) states that in 2017, the President promulgated the act affecting the entry into the United States of citizens from Islamic countries: Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. Trump’s decree envisaged a 90-day ban on entry to the USA for citizens of these Middle Eastern states and a 120-day ban on accepting refugees in the United States. Therefore, this policy was formulated against predominantly Islamic migrants, which, according to the President, were a terrorist threat.

Stakeholders of Migration Policy

Differences in positions on the issue of immigration between Donald Trump and his opponents from the Democratic Party and the American liberal establishment reflect various views on the United States’ future and the further development of the world. From the point of view of the American President, the country will benefit if it strictly regulates immigration. According to Pierce et al. (2018), Trump’s opponents include the Democratic Party, the overwhelming American establishment, the liberal academic community, and most Congress members. In their opinion, America, as a country built by people from different continents who came for a better life and freedom, should not close itself off from the world. Bauder (2020) asserts that the UN and even functionaries subordinate to Trump took the opponents’ position. For instance, the US Department of Homeland Security named the President’s prohibition on the entry of citizens of Muslim countries into the USA inefficient. Thus, Trump’s migration policy has divided the political elite into two camps, and many enemies have appeared at the President.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Policy

Influxes of immigrants have historically shaped the USA. Pierce et al. (2018) claim that they have contributed to the country’s development and continue to do it. Thus, migrants fill the labor shortage and bring in an inflow of young people, who account for most of the newly created enterprises and implement innovations in business. However, these facts did not prevent the Trump administration from significantly reducing the number of refugees accepted by the country. Bauder (2020) notes that Washington denied participating in the International Conference on Migration, withdrew from the Global Pact on Migration, and refused to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Legal Migration. Opponents of the President believed that Trump reduced security, as he worsened the attitude towards the United States in the world.


Therefore, it is difficult to identify any positive features of Trump’s migration policy since it has caused much disagreement between the American establishment and the international community. The statements about the threat of terrorism by the migrants did not correspond to reality, since during the previous ten years, not a single terrorist act and not a single murder in the United States had been committed by people from the countries covered by President’s decree. Since migrants have contributed a lot to the country’s development, Trump’s actions seem unreasonable to this social group.


Bauder, H. (2020) State of exemption: Migration policy and the enactment of sovereignty. Territory Politics Governance. Web.

Pierce, S., Bolter, J., & Selee, A. (2018) U.S. Immigration policy under Trump: Deep changes and lasting impacts. Migration Policy Institute.

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DemoEssays. "Donald Trump’s Migration Policy: Pros and Cons." December 27, 2022.