Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What's in Donald Trump's Immigration Plan?

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Speaking in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on August 16, presidential candidate Donald Trump (shown) said that if he were elected president, he would reverse President Obama’s executive orders on immigration and deport all illegal aliens from the United States.

Todd interviewed the real estate magnate aboard Trump’s private plane as it idled on a runway in Des Moines, Iowa, a state that has considerable political importance because its caucuses are usually the first major electoral events of the presidential nominating process.

Trump told Todd “we have to” rescind Obama’s executive order offering those brought to the U.S. illegally as children — known as DREAMers — protection from deportation, as well as Obama's unilateral move to delay deportation for their families.

“We have to make a whole new set of standards” for those immigrating to the United States, NBC News quoted Trump.

Todd questioned Trump about his plan as follows:

TODD: You're going to split up families. You're going to deport children?

TRUMP: Chuck — no, no. No, we're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.

TODD: But, you're going to keep them together out —

TRUMP: But, they have to go. But, they have to go.

TODD: What if they have no place to go?

TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country or we don’t have a country.

Also on August 16, a summary of Trump’s immigration plan was posted on his campaign website, under the headline, “Immigration Reform that Will Make America Great Again.” The post listed three core principles of what it described as “real immigration reform”:

• A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

• A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

• 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.

The post went on to provide specifics of the plan, including how Trump would force Mexico to pay for a wall on our southern border — a diplomatic challenge at the very least. The plan justifies this action by noting that Mexico has taken advantage of the United States by encouraging illegal migration to the north in order to “export the crime and poverty in their own country.” It goes on to note, quite correctly, that “the costs for the United States have been extraordinary,” as U.S. taxpayers have paid “hundreds of billions” in healthcare, housing, education, and welfare costs, for these illegal aliens. The article also addresses the devastating effects of illegal immigration on jobseekers, especially black Americans.

The plan also notes the impact on crime created when criminals cross our borders illegally. The New American has also noted this impact in several articles, including “Obama Administration Has Released 167,000 Illegals With Criminal Records.”

As for how Trump would get Mexico to pay for the cost of a border wall, he would not necessarily expect the Mexicans to pay us, but would recoup the cost as follows:

• Impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages (money sent back to relatives in Mexico by illegals working in the United States);

• Increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats;

• Increase fees on all border crossing cards;

• Increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico;

• Increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico, and (possibly);

• Increase tariffs and cut foreign aid.

It is impossible to determine, without knowing what steps the Mexican government might take in retribution, how many of these steps would be effective and how many would produce negative economic fallout.

Other parts of Trump’s plan will probably receive a more unquestioned positive response from constitutionalists, including those falling under the category: “Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States.” These steps include:

• Tripling the number of ICE officers. 

• Implementing a nationwide e-verify system.

This proposal will not sit well with those who value Americans’ right to privacy, who will see it as an invitation for more government snooping on innocent Americans. Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), among others, has warned that this national ID scheme would allow federal bureaucrats to collect biometric information — potentially including fingerprints, retinal scans, and more — that could (and likely would) be eventually used as a tracking device. It would also make it illegal for anyone to work in the United States without obtaining the national ID, which is likely the motivation for proposing it in the first place. Trump's proposal goes on:

• Mandatory return of all criminal aliens to their home countries. 

• Detention of those illegally crossing our borders until they are deported — not catch-and-release. 

• Defunding sanctuary cities which refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement.

• Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa.

• Cooperation by ICE officers with local gang task forces against gangs composed of illegal aliens.

• Ending birthright citizenship for the children born in the United States of parents who are here illegally.

To put the immigration issue in perspective, some background information is in order: Among the Obama administration’s most widespread amnesty programs was one giving special privileges to the “DREAMers” as part of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA began with an executive action ordered by President Obama and was prompted by his frustration with the failure of Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). After two Congresses failed to pass the act, Obama unilaterally decided to implement it anyway, and on June 15, 2012, he announced that his administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who met certain criteria previously proposed under the DREAM Act. 

DACA was formally initiated by a policy memorandum sent from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in 2012 to the heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), ordering them to practice “prosecutorial discretion” toward some individuals who were brought to this country illegally as children and have remained in the country illegally. Napolitano’s successor, Jeh Johnson, continued the amnesty when he an executive action memorandum on November 20 to the heads of the same federal agencies entitled: “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion With Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and With Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville issued an injunction on February 16 that blocked Johnson from implementing the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expanded DACA by removing its age cap and extending work authorization for some illegal aliens to three years.

In summation, the Trump immigration plan will likely appeal to conservatives and constitutionalists who see the unchecked flow of illegal immigrants into our nation and our poor border enforcement as an economic burden, a contributor to our nation’s crime rate, and a threat to our very sovereignty. Trump's appeal to this same constituency on other issues, however, remains to be seen.


Photo: AP Images

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