The nation’s new pro-American immigration policies will help Mexicans as well as Americans, President Donald Trump told the nation today.
“It is going to be very, very good for Mexico,” he told a cheering audience at the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security. “Our relationship with Mexico is going to get better and better,” he said Jan. 25, shortly after he signed orders ending a series of pro-migration policies established by President Barack Obama.
Trump’s emphasis on the benefits to both Americans and Mexicans flips the standard script pushed by progressives who argue that Trump’s pro-American policies are motivated by hostility towards foreigners, including Mexicans and Central Americans.
At the DHS, standing beside Gen. John Kelly, the new DHS chief, Trump declared:
The unprecedented surge of illegal migrants from Central America is harming both Mexico and the United States, and I believe these steps … starting right now, will improve the safety in both countries … A nation without a border is not a nation.
The policy of firm borders will be used to increase “economic opportunity on both sides” of the border, Trump said, after describing the northward flow of drugs and criminals.
“I want to emphasize that we will be working in a partnership with our friends in Mexico to improve safety and economic opportunity on both sides of the border,” he said, adding “I have deep admiration or the people of Mexico.”
We are going to save lives on both sides of the border, and we also understand that a strong and healthy economy in Mexico is very good for the United States. Very, very good. We want that to happen.
Trump’s support for Mexicans living in Mexico is popular among his supporters.
Thirty-three percent of Trump supporters have a positive view of Mexican immigrants in the United States — but 75 percent of his supporters also have a positive view of “Mexicans living in Mexico,” according to an October 2016 survey. That positive view of Mexicans-in-Mexico is shared by 80 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of all Americans, and 82 percent of Democrats, leaving Trump’s supporters with similar generous attitudes as other Americans towards foreigners living in their own countries.
Trump’s new pro-border policies are furiously opposed by globalist progressives.
“President Trump’s fantasy of sealing the border with a wall is driven by racial and ethnic bias that disgraces America’s proud tradition of protecting vulnerable migrants,” claimed Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. Jadwat continued, according to a ACLU statement:
The DHS deportation force has a track record of racial profiling and excessive force abuses, and expanding it will further erode the rights of millions of people who call our safe border communities home. Locking up asylum seekers who pose no danger or flight risk is unconstitutional and benefits nobody except private prison corporations and politicians looking to score rhetorical points. We will see the Trump administration in court if they go down that road.
Pro-American immigration reformers, however, welcomed Trump’s new policies, even as they also called for action to curb many other pro-migrant policies established by Obama.
Top of the list is a law requiring companies to check that possible hires are allowed to work in the United States.
The reformers also want Trump to deploy a visitor-tracking system so that officials know when legal visitors, such as tourists or temporary workers, have left the country. The system would help reduce the number of “overstay” illegal workers. Congress has repeatedly authorized the deployment of the tracking system since the 9/11 atrocity, but has not provided the needed funds. In 2015 roughly 500,000 foreign visitors overstayed their visas, according to a government report.
The reformers also want Trump to reverse Obama regulations which sharply increased the inflow of foreign while-collar professionals who compete for professional jobs sought by young American graduates.
Trump is coming under criticism from pro-American immigration reformers for not immediately stopping the renewal of two-year work permits given to roughly 750,000 illegal immigrants by Obama’s 2012 quasi-amnesty.
Throughout his term, Obama increased the inflow of legal immigrants so much that his agencies brought one migrant into the United States for every two births during the first half of 2016, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. For much of his tenure, Obama’s agencies annually imported one million new legal immigrants plus one million foreign contract workers, even as 4 million young Americans annually entered the job market. By a lopsided margin, most Americans believe companies should hire Americans before hiring additional immigrants.
Trump’s pro-American policies are mostly opposed by business groups and by many GOP leaders, especially House Speaker Paul Ryan. The GOP’s leadership tend to favor a business-friendly high-immigration, low-wage economic strategy. For example, Ryan has repeatedly argued that business needs a steady supply of foreign blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals about the four million Americans who join the labor force each year, and that foreign workers are needed to prevent any wage increases for American workers.
The current inflow of cheap foreign workers cuts’ Americans salaries and effectively transfers roughly $500 billion a year from pay packets into investors’ profits, according to calculations by Professor George Borjas, a Harvard researcher.
Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC or email the author at NMunro@Breitbart.com