Voters and the media have been asking Donald Trump to offer details on his policies and on Sunday, he gave them some.
The 1900 word “Immigration Reform that Will Make America Great Again” is a bit more specific than his catch-phrases and sound bites, but only on the issue for which he is most known. The plan focuses on three core principles:
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.
Fleshing out those principles, Trump proposes 15 actions that he says he would take to deal with the immigration problems in America:
- Make Mexico pay for the wall, if they won’t we’ll recoup our costs by:
- increasing fees for border crossing cards
- impounding of all remittance payments from illegal wages
- increasing fees for temporary visas
- increasing fees on all NAFTA worker visas
- increasing fees at all ports of entry for Mexican goods (Tarrifs)
- possbily cutting foreign aid
- Triple the number of ICE officers
- will be paid for by eliminating tax credit payments to all illegal immigrants
- Nationwide e-verify
- Mandatory return of all criminal aliens
- End “catch-and-release”
- Defund sanctuary cities
- cut off federal funds to any city not cooperating with the federal government
- Criminalize overstaying of visas
- Work with gang units
- When a police units gang task force raids a gang like MS-13, any illegals picked up should be deported
- End birthright citizenship – if parents aren’t citizens, neither is a baby born here
- Increase prevailing wage levels for H1-B visas
- make H1-B visas less available for entry level STEM jobs to force companies to hire American college graduates
- Require companies to hire Americans first
- no H1-B visa grant while qualified American workers are available
- End welfare abuse by having immigrants certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs
- End the J-1 (Jobs for foreign youth) Visa program
- replace with resume bank of American inner city youth looking for jobs
- Tighten criteria for refugee/asylum seekers
- Stop issuing green cards while so many are out of the work force
Several steps in Mr. Trump’s plan are common sense, but the billionaire will face serious questions as many of his actions could cause more problems than they solve. Forcing H1-B visas only to higher wage groups may not have the desired affect of companies hiring American graduates. Companies would likely look into off-shoring of those positions to Indian and Chinese sweat-shops full of recent graduates in those nations. Trumps plan to pay for the wall by placing fees on goods entering American ports is a Tarriff – unlawful under NAFTA. The move also starts the U.S. down a path of protectionism which could have dire consequences.
The paper focuses on the one issue Trump is strongest on, but does little to quiet criticism that his ideas on issues other than immigration are largely unknown.