Trump on Immigration Could Not Be More Wrong

From the first moment of his presidential campaign to this weekend’s Meet the Press appearance and release of “his” immigration plan, donald trump could not be more wrong in either his characterization of current immigration issues or problems, or in his supposed solutions to such problems.

The “problems” trump has lambasted include his view that the Mexican government has sent rapists and murderers across their border to the US, with resultant massive amounts of crime being committed by illegal immigrants, and that the 11 million or so illegals in the US are a drain on society, taking taxpayer money for social benefits while contributing
little or nothing back to society.

His simplistic solutions include building a massive fence along the entire US-Mexican border (which, he says, he will get Mexico to pay for), tripling the number of ICE agents, removing all illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, and amending the US Constitution to remove the right of birthright citizenship – that no longer would a person born in the United States automatically be a citizen of the United States.

All this and more is included in his just released “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again”. Actually, it would appear that trump is taking “credit” for a document that was actually the product of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama). But what is the difference whether it came from the brain of a racist billionaire or from the brain of a racist Senator? (“Vile Racist Jeff Sessions: It’s His Day To Shine!“; “Jeff Sessions’s chequered past“)

So, lets set aside the two utterly ridiculous portions of trump’s grand plan, building a impenetrable fence along the entire US-Mexican border, and amending the Constitution to remove one of the basic, fundamental rights upon which this country was founded, that he who is born here is an American, and focus on his underlying assumptions, that are so totally wrong.

First, exactly what do the millions of undocumented immigrants residing in the US actually take from, or give to, the country. The clear answer is that they give a lot, and that is a lot more than what they take.

Available statistics, the most recent from 2012, show that there are somewhere in the area of
11,400,000 undocumented immigrants in the US, a number that has been declining in recent years. Of those, an amazing 72%, 8,250,000, are gainfully employed in one or more jobs, a percentage that far exceeds the employed percentage of natural born Americans and of the overall US population, which is now at 63%. While millions of undocumented workers are engaged in what may be termed menial occupations earning low wages, many, many have received training and experience in and are employed in more advanced and permanent occupations, and in fact undocumented immigrants include 40% of all brickmasons, blockmasons and stonemasons, 37% of all drywall installers, ceiling installers and tapers, 31% of all roofers, 27% of all construction workers, 27% of all cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers, 22% of all carpet and tile installers, and 20% of all chefs and head cooks employed in the US.*

As to the overall effect of undocumented immigrants on the US economy, conservatives site studies that say they are a drain, awhile others, including most economists, cite studies that say that they their contributions to the economy produce a slight net benefit, with the value of their labor, including consumer cost savings by virtue of providing cheap labor, the economic stimulus provided by their purchasing power, in the paying of payroll and sales taxes, and in a significantly larger volume than the political right would ever admit to, in the payment of income taxes. Numerous arguments on both sides of the issue can be found here.

As to undocumented immigrants taking advantage of and bankrupting government coffers through welfare benefits, as the right so often alleges, the undisputed FACTS are that such immigrants receive public benefits at a rate LOWER than the native poor.

As to trumps allegations about crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, while the occasional
Call Now: 877-397-5171
heinous crime will always make news, the undisputed FACT is that immigrants as a total group commit crimes at a rate far less than native born American citizens. In fact, as the numbers of undocumented immigrants increased so significantly through the period of 1990 to 2010, overall violent crime rates and property crime rates throughout the US decreased in unprecedented numbers. See the figures and charts featured here.

In the studies reported there by the American Immigration Council, they reached the following conclusions:

“The problem of crime in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status. This is hardly surprising since immigrants come to the United States to pursue economic and educational opportunities not available in their home countries and to build better lives for themselves and their families. As a result, they have little to gain and much to lose by breaking the law. Undocumented immigrants in particular have even more reason to not run afoul of the law given the risk of deportation that their lack of legal status entails. Public policies must be based on facts, not anecdotes or emotions. And the fact is that the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals.”

Finally, here is a video from New Left Media that is a view of an undocumented immigrant, in the US for a decade since brought to the US by his parents as a child, who has attended college and who now works three jobs to finance his goal of becoming a commercial photographer. By the way, one of those jobs is for one of trump’s businesses:

*statistics from

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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