Republican front-runner Donald Trump released details of his immigration plan today. They were released in an interview on Meet the Press. After the interview aired, the plan was posted on Trump’s website. This came at the same time FOX News released the results of their latest poll showing Trump is still the clear front runner with 25 percent of Republicans favoring him.
The latest FOX poll out today signals trouble for the establishment candidates in the GOP primary. Over half of Republicans polled, 52 percent, named an outsider as their first choice. Trump led with 25 percent, followed by Dr. Ben Carson with 12 percent and Ted Cruz at ten percent. Carly Fiorina came in seventh with five percent. The other twelve candidates split the remaining 48 percent of the vote. Cruz, a sitting Senator, is not technically an outsider, but he is known for his anti-government “Cruzades” including one that shut down the government.
Trump had been under fire from the media to lay out some detailed policy proposals. Immigration is the first policy paper released. His comments in the interview with Chuck Todd this morning generally followed the statements he has been making all along, but without the name calling that angered so many Hispanics and others.
The immigration plan began with a statement that said “When politicians talk about immigration reform they mean amnesty, cheap labor and open borders.” Trump called the Schumer-Rubio (immigration reform bill) bill nothing but a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. He asserts that “We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.”
Trump said there are three core principles behind his policy: 1. 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.
Consistent with his earlier statements, Trump is calling for a 1,500 mile wall between the United States and Mexico. He said the cost of the wall “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.”
Trump insists Mexico will pay for the wall, but until they do, he said, “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 the 1,000,000 border crossing cards we issue 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.”
His administration would take the following steps to insure that the Constitution is being followed. First, he would triple the number of ICE officers and pay for it by eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants. Second, he would immediately establish a nation-wide E-Verify system for employers. Third, he would require Mandatory return of all criminal “aliens” and end the “catch and release” policy for immigrants caught at the border and replace that with “catch and detain.”
In addition, Trump would cut-off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement. He would raise penalties for overstaying a visa and give local jurisdictions the power to hold visa overstays until federal authorities arrive. And, he will end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
Trump stated that he would immediately end President Obama’s Executive Orders that allow Dreamers, immigrants brought here as children, to apply for legal status rather than face deportation.
This proposal is likely to go over quite well with Republicans in general, and his supporters in particular. It will not play well in the immigrant and ethnic-American communities throughout the nation. This policy could have the same effect as Romney’s “self-deportation” policy, causing him to lose the Hispanic vote by record numbers and the election. For this reason, Democrats are cheering.
Meanwhile, Trump may get another bump in the polls. Stay tuned.