It’s hard to take Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric seriously when he’s taken literally every position possible on the issue of immigration. A month ago, he was arguing for a path to legal status. Three years ago he criticized Mitt Romney’s self-deportation policy as ‘maniacal’. And now he’s supportive of mass deportation? Trump may characterize himself as an anti-politician, but he’s certainly showcasing himself as a typical politician who says whatever is most politically expedient in the moment.
Mr. Trump’s proposal is irresponsible and lacks seriousness. But most importantly, Trump’s proposal is inhumane.
The immense majority of undocumented immigrants are honest, hard-working people who ended up here illegally only because we have a broken immigration system that impedes the legal flow of the foreign workers that our economy needs. To suggest that we should expel all of them from the country they have made their home and to which they contribute so much is cynical, unfair and shows a total lack of human compassion.
Trump is playing politics on this issue and has conveniently flip-flopped on the issue out of crass political expediency.
Rather than hurting the middle class, immigration actually helps it. In a dynamic economy like ours, immigrants generate more economic activity and expand the consumer base. Foreign workers also fill niche jobs that American are not taking and by doing so they create better paying jobs upstream in the labor market for Americans. Here again, Trump contradicts himself once again. Only a few weeks ago he said in a CNN interview he was very supportive of legal immigration and now he’s completely changed his tune. It should make one wonder if he actually read his own plan.
Alfonso Aguilar is the executive director of American Principles in Action’s Latino Partnership.