August 20, 2015
Donald Trump has taken our political system by storm, shaking up the Republican political establishment and defying the media. Up until now, however, Trump has not been strong on providing details of his proposals. Hopefully that is changing, and his campaign is beginning to provide more detailed proposals.
Campaign Trump has released a position paper entitled Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again. It is available on the Trump campaign website, you can access it here.
The proposal has many commonsense proposals for our immigration system, and if Trump (or any president) could enact them it would be a great improvement over our current system.
The document states that “Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors.” The paper sets out “three core principles of real immigration reform”, which are
A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall
across the southern border.
2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
Trump has provoked a lot of controversy by speaking specifically about Mexico and its role in our immigration situation. As a former resident of Mexico, I find that all very interesting. I observed years ago that the Mexican elite promotes emigration from Mexico to the U.S., for several self-interested reasons.
Trump points out that “For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries).”
And it costs our country a lot:
The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc. Indeed, the annual cost of free tax credits alone paid to illegal immigrants quadrupled to $4.2 billion in 2011.
there is the effect on our own job market. The document points out that
“The effects on jobseekers have also been disastrous, and black Americans have been particularly harmed.”
Trump got a lot of flak for pointing out the relationship between illegal immigration and crime. But he was right.
The impact in terms of crime has been tragic. In recent weeks, the headlines have been covered with cases of criminals who crossed our border illegally only to go on to commit horrific crimes against Americans…In 2011,the Government Accountability Office found that there were a shocking 3 million arrest attached to the incarcerated alien population, including tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders. Meanwhile, Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States back to Mexico ($22 billion in 2013 alone). In short, the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners.
Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border.
The cost of building a permanent border all pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices.
Not only that, but Trump wants Mexico to pay for it! How does he propose for that to happen?
Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages [ought to be done anyway!]; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico (Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options). We will not be taken advantage of anymore.
Building a wall would still be worth it even if we paid for it. I think that the part about making Mexico pay is to make their government accountable. It’s rather revolutionary, as it’s been a long time since a U.S. president has stood up to Mexico.
Under the heading of “Defend the Laws and Constitution of the United States”, trump proposes the following:
1. “Triple the number of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers”. This is to be partly paid for by “eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants” which ought to be done anyway.
2. “Nationwide e-verify”. This computer program can verify if a prospective worker is legal or not. It ought to be mandatory for every business and government agency in the country.
3. “Mandatory return of criminal aliens”. What our government does now is criminal. The Obma administration “has released 76,000 aliens from its custody with criminal convictions since 2013 alone.” Trump’s proposal is that “ All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries, a process which can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries which will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.”
4. “Detention-not catch- and-release”. Apprehended illegal alien border-crossers should be “detained until they are sent home, no more catch-and-release.”
5. “Defund sanctuary cities”. These are cities that just decide to defy federal immigration law. Trump says to “Cut-off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.”
6. “Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa.” Many foreigners enter legally, but just stay when their visa expires, and we don’t have a good system to combat this. Trump says these people should be subject to “criminal penalties”. As for the system, “Completion of a visa tracking system – required by law but blocked by lobbyists – will be necessary as well.”
7. “Cooperate with local gang task forces”.
8. “End birthright citizenship”. Children of illegal aliens should not be granted U.S. citizenship. Closing that loophole would help the situation greatly.
In the section entitled “Put American Workers First”, the position paper explains that
Decades of disastrous trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed our middle class. Today, nearly 40% of black teenagers are unemployed. Nearly 30% of Hispanic teenagers are unemployed. For black Americans without high school diplomas, the bottom has fallen out: more than 70% were employed in 1960, compared to less than 40% in 2000. Across the economy, the percentage of adults in the labor force has collapsed to a level not experienced in generations. …The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage. Nearly half of all immigrants and their US-born children currently live in or near poverty, including more than 60 percent of Hispanic immigrants. Every year, we voluntarily admit another 2 million new immigrants, guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants. We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities’ rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream.Additionally, we need to stop giving legal immigrant visas to people bent on causing us harm. From the 9/11 hijackers, to the Boston Bombers, and many others, our immigration system is being used to attack us. The President of the immigration caseworkers union declared in a statement on ISIS: “We've become the visa clearinghouse for the world.”
Specific proposals include:
1. “Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs.” The acronym STEM refers to “Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics. The Trump paper states that “We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program.
2. “Requirement to hire American workers first.”
3. “End welfare abuse”. This states that “Applicants for entry to the United States should be required to certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs before coming to the U.S.
4. “Jobs program for inner city youth.”
5. “Refugee program for American children”.
6. “Immigration moderation”. This states that “Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.”
These are the Trump proposals, I think there is a lot there that would be beneficial to our country. It would definitely make for a better immigration system than our current one.
� 2015 Allan Wall - All Rights Reserved
Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.