Donald Trump’s immigration plan is not only racist. It would also devastate entire sectors of the U.S. economy.
The Trump plan essentially calls Mexican immigrants money sucking criminals and demands that Mexicans pay for the construction of a wall along the Southern border, “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; 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.”
Trump also wants to end birthright citizenship, and his plan is loaded with bogus claims that immigration lowers wages.
The Trump plan is loaded with racism. Trump is trying to turn white workers against Hispanics. The United States has a long and ugly history of racism towards immigrants. Trump was trying to tap into that dark vein with his “policy document.” The problem is that his plan is a fairy tale.
Trump’s plan would gravely harm the U.S. economy.
The Hill reported in 2014, “According to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, there were 8.4 million unauthorized immigrants employed in the U.S.; representing 5.2 percent of the U.S. labor force (an increase from 3.8 percent in 2000). Their importance was highlighted in a report by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs that stated, “Without the undocumented population, Texas’ workforce would decrease by 6.3 percent” and Texas’ gross state product would decrease by 2.1 percent. Furthermore, certain segments of the U.S. economy, like agriculture, are entirely dependent upon illegal immigrants.”
In 2012, The US Department of Agriculture found that reducing the supply of immigrant labor in farming would decrease US GDP by 1%. In 2009, the National Milk Federation warned that milk prices would increase by 61% if the immigrant labor force were eliminated.
Contrary to the bogus claims of Trump’s “policy paper,” undocumented immigrants add more to the economy than they take out. According to the American Immigration Council, “The unauthorized, like everyone else in the United States, pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes—even if they rent. At least half of unauthorized immigrants pay income taxes. Add this all up and it amounts to billions in revenue to state and local governments. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has estimated the state and local taxes paid in 2010 by households that are headed by unauthorized immigrants. These households may include members who are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Collectively, these households paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes. That included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes.”
Trump’s plan, which conservatives are hailing as just what they have always wanted, would raise prices on consumers, lower the supply of labor in key sectors of the economy, and potentially plunge the country into another recession. What the Republican praise for Trump reveals most is that many conservatives are willing to destroy the economy to feed their racism against people of color.
Donald Trump’s immigration policy would be an absolute disaster for the United States if it were ever enacted.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association