Why Donald Trump Is Right About Mexico: The Art of the Steal

Donald Trump
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Donald Trump continues to lead the polls with a simple, broad message: make America great again.

While pundits were wringing their hands over his blunt talk on issues that matter most to the base, voters were praising his honesty at their kitchen tables across America. His “controversial” statements about immigration, in particular, put the issue back on the table in a meaningful way for the first time in years and struck a chord with voters of many stripes. Trump is the only candidate with the courage to say what they are thinking and they love it.  Most importantly, he’s right.

A few weeks ago, Trump posted his proposed immigration policy and, predictably, drew praise from those who want to strengthen America and self-serving condemnation from those who want to weaken us.

The Mexican government itself provides some of the best evidence that Trump is exactly right when he says that Mexico intentionally sends a portion of their population across our borders illegally. In fact, they even publish a how-to guide for Mexicans seeking to illegally enter and remain in the United States.

As stated in Trump’s immigration policy (and reported by the New York Times, that bastion of anti-immigrant sentiment), the manual provides tips on how to cross the border, what to wear, how to handle questions from the border control, how to remain in the country illegally without being discovered and what they’re entitled to if caught.

Nowhere in Mexico’s crime manual does it say “Do not enter the United States illegally.” It gives advice on how to cross safely, avoid detection and what illegals are entitled to under our laws. There’s a disclaimer in tiny print at the bottom, which says that the pamphlet is not meant to encourage their people to illegally enter the United States but merely seeks to make them aware of the dangers and their rights once they’re here. It’s like publishing a pamphlet about how to buy and cook a pot roast and then claiming at the bottom that it’s meant to encourage vegetarianism. The brochure makes it shockingly clear that the Mexican government doesn’t feel the need to even pretend to respect American laws.

Some have criticized Trump for singling out Mexico first and foremost on the immigration issue. But he’s right about that, too. Mexico leads both legal and illegal migration into the United States. Our relationship is critical for both our economy and, even more so, for theirs. Trump knows that value and employs thousands of people from Mexico. But we have every right to expect a country with such a close, unique and beneficial relationship with us to at least encourage its people to respect our laws. Instead, their government hands out instruction manuals on how to break them. For example, the pamphlet informs illegals that you are not obligated to disclose your immigration status when you are detained.

With such close ties to Mexico, it’s common sense that how we deal with their government is a critical part of how we make America great again. Giving billions to a country whose government hands out instruction manuals on how their citizens can get away with breaking our laws, while 50 million Americans live in poverty, is part of the massive stupidity that Trump is trying to fix. One American murdered by someone who isn’t supposed to be here is one too many. American voters across party lines are sick of this kind of weakness and ready for a blunt candidate like Trump to stand up for Americans.

Imagine the uproar if our government ever published such a pamphlet. But there’s no need for the United States government to give advice on how Americans can go seeking a better life in another country. The reason there’s no demand for such a brochure is the very thing that Trump and the base GOP voters know and what President Obama seems to have forgotten: the United States offers the greatest opportunity for a good life on earth, and our government needs to keep it that way. Trump’s core message is centered on that, and his lead in the polls is proof that voters agree. The center of all Trump’s policies is positive: a belief in the greatness of America. He uses the kind of direct language that makes our enemies and economic competitors nervous.

Some scoff at Trump’s claim that he will get Mexico to pay for a border wall. If they refuse, there’s always the tariff option. But with the economic weight our relationship carries with Mexico, it would be a sound investment on their part when they do the math. Maybe our State Department can explain it to them in an instructional pamphlet.