Well today is the day that Donald Trump outlined his first policy plan to combat illegal immigration...well sort of.
So here are just a few of its highlights:
He will build a wall along our southern border with Mexico and somehow he is going to make them pay for it. How that will happen is unclear. Strong-arming another country does not typically work when it comes to the exchange of cash so for all of his blustering I doubt he will be able to fulfill #1 on his list.
He is going to defend the laws and Constitution of the United States. Well now isn’t that special...isn’t that exactly what the President of the United States is supposed to do. Many on the right will argue that President Obama did follow this rule, but in fact he did. They may not like it, but he in fact did act lawfully. But I digress. Mr. Trump will triple the number of ICE officers paying for this by eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants. I’m not certain what we are talking about in real dollars and cents here, but to his credit he at least has offered some method of paying for the additional manpower.
He will implement nationwide e-Verify. This has been around for many years (since 1996) and never been made mandatory. Mr. Trump is not offering anything new program here. This in my opinion has always been one of the best ways to combat illegal immigration. If you eliminate their means of employment then in most cases you eliminate their reason for coming here illegally in the first place. There is such harsh rhetoric lodged at illegal immigrants, but we have not been holding employers responsible for their actions. Now is certainly the time to make this a mandatory program as it always should have been..
He is committing to end birthright citizenship. Mr. Trump references a Rasmussen Report piece from 2011 claiming that voters, by a 2:1 margin are in favor of ending birthright citizenship for children born here by illegal immigrants. While this is compelling, it flies in the face of his promise to defend our laws and our Constitution. As it stands, the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution precludes him from following through on this promise.
Ultimately the question is how does the U.S. deal with the illegal immigrants already here. Trump has proposed nothing short of rounding them up, while keeping families together and deporting them. This in my opinion is neither practical nor possible. The resources in manpower, equipment and time make this not only a daunting task, but an impossible one as well regardless of what he says. The most logical way to proceed is to provide a logical path to citizenship as many even on the right have expressed in the past.
In the end, although he has made an attempt to offer something to his supporters that they may find presidential he offers it with clear racist undertones. He continues to accuse the Mexican government of sending us their criminals. I am very confident saying that the vast majority of individuals that cross the border illegally are doing it to make a better life for themselves and their families not to commit crimes as Trump is implying. Yes, there have been several instances where an illegal immigrant has been deported and come back across the border to commit heinous crimes, but this is not the norm. Really--what do you think the likelihood is that Mexico is putting their undesirables on a bus and dropping them off at our border? I for one think it is highly unlikely. And lastly his plan to defy the 14th amendment by ending birthright citizenship would create a huge legal battle that could last for many years as well as requiring a change to a longstanding amendment that was hard fought to achieve almost 150 years ago. No matter how distasteful this may be to some people, until changed it is the law of the land.
Let’s see what other “terrific” plans Mr. Trump comes up with over the coming weeks. I for one will be waiting with baited breath.