Donald Trump has pounded his chest with the promise of the most extreme immigration plan in history, with the kicker being that Mexico would pay for the construction of a border wall. Despite his rhetoric, Trump’s plan would be costly for American taxpayers and wouldn’t affect illegal immigration as much as he says it would.
When the former host of “The Apprentice” announced his candidacy for president back in June, he made headlines by referring to illegal immigrants from Mexico as “criminals” and “rapists” who were bringing drugs over the border. Trump even accused the Mexican government of purposely sending them to the U.S., something officials call “absurd” and “racist.”Trump’s latest immigration slur is his use of the term “anchor babies,”which many find as an offensive way to describe children born to illegal immigrants looking for benefits from the United States. Looking into Trump’s plan even further was the United Press International on August 20, who reported that there has been zero net immigration from Mexico in recent years.
“Net immigration from Mexico is at an all time low — net-zero since 2005 and consistently on the decline — immigrants are less prone to crime than the native population, new Chinese and Indian immigrants now outnumber new Mexican immigrants, and the United States actually needs more immigrants to balance its aging population.”
With a net immigration from Mexico essentially stagnant, a border wall seems almost useless. Illegal immigration has been curbed drastically since the election of President Obama in 2008. Since taking office in 2009, Obama has been given the label “Deporter in Chief” for his increase in deportations of illegal immigrants. As Reuters has reported, Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any president before him, including a record high of 438,421 in 2013.
Trump’s plan would also include ending birthright citizen ship, which is protected under the 14 Amendment, as well as repealing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which gives protection to undocumented children brought to the U.S. by their parents. According to Politico, the official cost price tag of the plan would cost around $166 billion, but that’s on the low end. Trump’s plan would most likely cost well over $200 billion after all parts have been implemented.
Even though Trump is leading all his Republican challengers in most national and swing state polling, his general election chances don’t hold up. With the Republican party needing at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote to win the White House in 2016, alienating such a large portion of the potential voting base is not just offensive, it’s also bad politics.