Matt O’Brien is a former Trump administration-era immigration judge who was recently removed from his post by the Biden administration. He now serves as IRLI’s director of investigations and was the one who compiled the report.
In the introduction of the report, O’Brien writes that the aforementioned Mother Jones piece “pushes the idea that Western immigration laws — particularly those of the United States — all flow from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and are inherently racist.”
O’Brien writes that if these policies were truly racist, “that would mean that Caucasians are deliberately manipulating U.S. immigration law and policy in order to reduce the numbers of non-Caucasians admitted to the United States.”
Further in the report, O’Brien writes the following:
“Current immigration patterns may be a lot of things. But one thing they are most definitely not is white and European. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of people currently immigrating to America are not Caucasian and U.S. immigration policies are the most color-blind and inclusive in the world.”
O’Brien also references several key statistics throughout his work, including the following numbers from Pew:
In 2018, Pew stated, “Immigrant origins now differ drastically [from the period prior to the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act], with European, Canadian and other North American immigrants making up only a small share of the foreign-born population (13%) in 2018. Asians (28%), Mexicans (25%) and other Latin Americans (25%) each make up about a quarter of the U.S. immigrant population, followed by 9% who were born in another region.”
Let’s take a closer look at the Pew statistics. Hispanics (i.e. Mexicans and Latin Americans) collectively make up 50% of all immigrants. And, more than one quarter of all immigrants to the U.S. are now Asians. That means at least 78% of all immigrants now coming to America are from places where the majority population is not Caucasian and falls within a group that is considered a minority in the U.S.
O’Brien even used some key numbers from the American Immigration Council — which is a liberal group — to further back his claims. He writes:
“None of the top five countries sending immigrants to the U.S. have caucasian majorities.
According to the American Immigration Council, in 2019 the top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico, India, China, the Philippines and El Salvador. The vast majority of citizens from those countries are people who would be classified as members of minority groups in the United States. And none of these nations have any type of significant, native Caucasian minority.”
Towards the end of his report, he summed up his claims with the following sentiment:
“Mother Jones and other organizations continue to make irrational claims that, as the Brookings Institution phrased it, “U.S. immigration policy [is] a classic, unappreciated example of structural racism.” Those claims, however, are not supported by the realities of current immigration policy. The vast majority of the people admitted to the U.S. under current immigration law are neither European nor Caucasian. In fact, if there is any structural racism built into the U.S. immigration system, there is strong evidence in favor of the conclusion that it operates to exclude European immigrants.”