Academic says US immigration system should cater to both current and aspiring citizens

Business academic Rajshree Agarwal said on Thursday that the U.S. immigration system should cater to both American citizens and potential immigrants to the U.S. 

"It isn't an either-or," Agarwal, the director of the University of Maryland's Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets, told Hill.TV's "Rising," when asked by host Buck Sexton whether the fundamental principle of the U.S. immigration system is to cater to the aspirations of foreigners wanting to immigrate to the U.S., or to the people who are already American citizens. 

"The larger point out here is that as soon as you pitch it as well, should we care about everyone who wants to come here? Or should we care about the people who live here, and are born here, you're immediately putting it as a win-versus-lose. That is something that cannot be both," she continued. 

Agarwal was responding to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE's State of the Union address on Tuesday in which he continued to push for his long-promised border wall as a means of ensuring border security. 

“Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration,” Trump said. 

Agarwal said the parts of the speech that focused on immigration were focused on a fear that migrants are coming to the U.S. in large numbers. 

"Notice that in the presidential address, the fear that these are the people that are coming in," she said. "Our entire immigration discourse right now is about 'well, look at all these people that coming in. They're the drug addicts, they're the traffickers. They're the ones that are going to bring all kinds of negative things here.' " 

— Julia Manchester