It’s not in the news at all with Impeachment, Coronavirus and The Latest Fictional Hysteria drawing all the airtime. But it impacts the country as much as the economy — which continues to roar along for all Americans.
And it’s Trump’s signature issue: Reform the U.S. immigration system in a way that includes securing our southern border while dealing with the overstays issue and changing the makeup of legal immigration.
This is not only in Trump’s re-election wheelhouse, but with the economy so strong and already in his pocket, it creates an issue the Democrats must oppose, and in doing so they chase away more of their frittering working class base, particularly blue collar workers.
It aligns with his efforts to break through to black American voters and polls show it does no harm with actual voting Hispanics. It’s win-win for Trump and lose-lose for Democrats.
Former Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan told Fox News after Friday’s Democratic debate: “Most of the people on that stage have failed as a congressman, senator, vice president on this very issue for the last two decades. The only one who has won on this issue is the president…His actions alone got this crisis back in May down 72 percent…” Referring to the Democrats’ ignoring the issue now, he said, “It’s a loser for them.”
It is. And it’s a re-election winner for Trump, piling on top of his successful economic and foreign policies.
Here’s the key point that is almost impossible to argue with:
• Reform the American immigration system so it is skills-based — not location-based, not family-based, not race-based and certainly not by illegally crossing the border.
This benefits blue collar Americans by allowing in more high skilled workers and fewer low skilled workers, thereby reducing the supply of low skilled ones which in turn will create more upward pressure on those wages through basic market mechanisms.
This benefits the overall economy by allowing in more immigrants that generate more GDP per immigrant and tend towards a more creative class.
This benefits the budget by bringing in a higher percentage of immigrants who will be less likely to be on welfare and more likely to earn higher wages and therefore pay more in taxes. Pay more in taxes and cost less in benefits.
Harvard economist George Borjas has studied this impact extensively and the numbers are pretty conclusive when contrasted with the anecdotal emotionalism of the Democrats.
Australia and Canada both have skills-based immigration systems that are rising in the economic and pay rankings because they are attracting more skilled immigrants and limiting the less skilled immigrants. By 2034, Australia is expected to have the 13th largest economy in the world and Canada is projected to have the eighth largest economy.
A skills-based immigration program like Canada’s and Australia’s would change the labor dynamic of the U.S. economy by providing a boost to a permanently higher floor and ceiling.
Naturally, Democrats will fight this. In fact, Democrat front-runner Bernie Sanders is considering executive orders that would stop all border work, reduce ICE, eliminate the cap on “refugees” and a series of other moves that would essentially create an open border and swamp the country with low-skilled, uneducated illegal immigrants who cannot speak the language.
The contrast is sharp and Americans — including the vaunted suburban moms — will see it.
They may not like how Trump conducts himself (not that Sanders is a shining example of virtue either) but they very much like his policies. This one keeps Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin in Trump’s column, and may move states such as Minnesota over to it.
Which state do the Democrats pick up with an open borders policy? Answer: None.
This is a winner for Trump and for Republicans. And given that the Trump Department of Justice just announced it is taking several new actions against sanctuary jurisdictions, he is clearly not changing his position.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.