Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

Stephen Colbert Takes On Trump's Immigration Proposal in the Best Way

Yesterday, the Trump administration announced a proposal to slash legal immigration to the United States by half, and as always, comedian Stephen Colbert jumped in with the perfect comeback on his “Late Show.”  

Colbert pinpointed the moment at which a ban on legal immigration would hit the Trump family directly: the holidays. 

“Melania, honey, I’ve got some tough news,” Colbert said, imitating Trump. “Only 50% of your parents can come to Thanksgiving. I say your mom, she’s in great physical shape.” 

Take Action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People - No Matter Where They Were Born

Colbert’s zingers didn’t stop there. 

He also gave the proposed act, called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a new name: the Reforming American Citizenship Is Super Tough (RACIST) Act, and criticized the “merit-based” approach to immigration outlined in the bill. 

“Mr. President, wherever you are today, it’s not based on merit,” Colbert quipped. 

Colbert wasn’t the only person critical of the bill, which would cut legal immigration from over 1 million people per year to 500,000 in the next ten years, create a merit-based point system for determining green card status, and reduce family-based immigration.  

Congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle roundly criticized the bill: 

Kamala Harris: 

Lindsey Graham: 

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 

Bob Menendez: 

Read More: Irish PM Gets Real With Donald Trump About Legacy of Irish Immigrants in America

The Trump administration has argued that the bill will boost economic growth and create jobs for low-skilled Americans, but some economists feel otherwise. 

Economists, Politico wrote, “tend to worry not about there being too much immigration, but rather not enough.” 

In his segment, Colbert cited a study that showed “89% [of economists] believe it’s a terrible idea for Trump to curb immigration.”

An estimated 44% of engineering and tech start-ups are created by immigrants and immigrants also file 60% of US patents, studies have shown. 

A study from Penn’s Wharton School of Economics found that “immigration leads to more innovation, a better educated workforce, greater occupational specialization, better matching of skills with jobs, and higher overall economic productivity.” 

Read More: This Budweiser Super Bowl Ad Just Got Surprisingly Political

But the chances of the RAISE Act receiving the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate is unlikely, according to the Washington Post

“I think it’s dead on arrival,” Alex Nowrasteh, at the conservative think-tank CATO institute wrote. “A lot of Republican senators like legal immigration. They think it’s good for the economy. They think family unification is great. They’re just against illegal immigration.”