Donald Trump Releases Immigration Reform Plan Designed To Get Americans Back To Work

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to reporters before addressing the Rep
AP Photo/Danny Johnston

Billionaire Donald Trump released a detailed immigration policy position paper on Sunday morning, a paper that walks through exactly what steps he would go through as president to help American workers.

The paper is detailed to the level of specific areas of policy, and it also calls out one of his opponents, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the author of the last Congress’ “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill—as being the “personal senator” of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, because Rubio is doing Zuckerberg’s bidding by pushing for an increase in H-1B visas to replace American workers in high-tech fields with cheaper foreign labor.

The paper—which really constitutes a completely new look at immigration and a complete overhaul of the current system, politicians’ priorities, and special interest involvement—starts with three principles. Firstly, Trump argues, “a nation without borders is not a nation.”

As such, he writes, “there must be a wall across the southern border.”

Secondly, Trump argues, “a nation without laws is not a nation.”

“Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced,” he writes as part of his second principle.

Thirdly, Trump argues, “a nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.”

“Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans,” he writes to flesh out the third principle.

The paper, which was clearly influenced by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who Trump consulted to help with immigration policy, contains three major parts: How a President Trump would handle border security, interior enforcement, and legal immigration policy as it relates to getting Americans—at historically low workforce participation rates right now—back to work. Perhaps most importantly, Trump uses the term “immigration reform” to describe what he will do—taking that term away from those who use it to push for fundamental transformation of the United States with immigration policy.

“When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders,” Trump writes. “The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change.”

The plan details not just that Trump believes in putting “American workers first” over the interest of foreign workers, foreign nations, and special interests, but how he would do so. Trump is the first and only presidential candidate this cycle who has done this and gone into this level of policy detail.

“Decades of disastrous trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed our middle class,” Trump’s position paper reads. “Today, nearly 40% of black teenagers are unemployed. Nearly 30% of Hispanic teenagers are unemployed. For black Americans without high school diplomas, the bottom has fallen out: more than 70% were employed in 1960, compared to less than 40% in 2000. Across the economy, the percentage of adults in the labor force has collapsed to a level not experienced in generations. As CBS news wrote in a piece entitled ‘America’s incredible shrinking middle class’: ‘If the middle-class is the economic backbone of America, then the country is developing osteoporosis.’”

Trump writes that the “influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage” and that about “half of all immigrants and their US-born children currently live in or near poverty, including more than 60 percent of Hispanic immigrants.”

“Every year, we voluntarily admit another 2 million new immigrants, guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants,” Trump writes. “We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities’ rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream. Additionally, we need to stop giving legal immigrant visas to people bent on causing us harm. From the 9/11 hijackers, to the Boston Bombers, and many others, our immigration system is being used to attack us. The President of the immigration caseworkers union declared in a statement on ISIS: ‘We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.’”

Trump calls for a halt to the issuance of new green cards until Americans are back to work.

“Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers,” Trump wrote in a section of the paper called “immigration moderation,” an area where he cites U.S. Census Bureau data and information from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “This will help reverse women’s plummeting workplace participation rate, grow wages, and allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.”

He called for also increasing the prevailing wage when it comes to the issuance of H-1B visas so as to get Americans—especially Hispanics, blacks, and women—hired into corporate positions in Silicon Valley rather than foreigners. It is here where he points out that Rubio—who along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is one of the two candidates in the Republican primary against Trump that the donor class is pulling for—has put forward legislation that would drastically harm American workers’ job prospects, and he’s done so on behalf of Zuckerberg and other donors.

“We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program,” Trump wrote. “More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program’s lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant, instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.”

Trump also laid out his belief that there should be a requirement that companies hire Americans before hiring foreigners from visa programs.

“Too many visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement,” Trump wrote, citing testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and a Forbes magazine report about how incomes are falling in the U.S. because people are working less. “In the year 2015, with 92 million Americans outside the workforce and incomes collapsing, we need to companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office, not USCIS.”

Trump called for an end to the J-1 Visa program—essentially a jobs program for foreign youths—and for it to be replaced with a jobs program for American youths in inner cities.

“The J-1 visa jobs program for foreign youth will be terminated and replaced with a resume bank for inner city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J-1 visa program,” Trump wrote under a section header calling for a “jobs program for inner city youth” while citing a National Public Radio report on the J-1 visa program.

Trump calls to “end welfare abuse,” as well.

“Applicants for entry to the United States should be required to certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs before coming to the U.S.,” he wrote.

He also pushes for the focus of refugee programs and asylum to shift to helping American children get more opportunities in life.

“Increase standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses,” he wrote, citing congressional testimony and two Breitbart News reports on welfare abuse by refugees in the U.S. and on crime among refugee communities. “Use the monies saved on expensive refugee programs to help place American children without parents in safer homes and communities, and to improve community safety in high crime neighborhoods in the United States.”

That’s all just legal immigration policy. Trump said generally when it comes to enforcement that he thinks that America needs to defend her laws and the Constitution.

“America will only be great as long as America remains a nation of laws that lives according to the Constitution,” Trump wrote before setting up a list of specific policies he would implement if elected president to protect the United States from illegal immigration. “No one is above the law. The following steps will return to the American people the safety of their laws, which politicians have stolen from them.

Trump details here many things, including that he believes there should be an end to “birthright citizenship.”

“This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” Trump wrote of birthright citizenship before citing Rasmussen Reports polling data showing Americans are opposed to it. “By a 2:1 margin, voters say it’s the wrong policy, including Harry Reid who said ‘no sane country’ would give automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.”

Trump thinks America needs to triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers working in the country. Trump said he’d pay for it by cutting off tax credit payments currently handed out to illegal aliens.

“As the President of the ICE Officers’ Council explained in Congressional testimony: ‘Only approximately 5,000 officers and agents within ICE perform the lion’s share of ICE’s immigration mission…Compare that to the Los Angeles Police Department at approximately 10,000 officers. Approximately 5,000 officers in ICE cover 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, and are attempting to enforce immigration law against 11 million illegal aliens already in the interior of the United States. Since 9-11, the U.S. Border Patrol has tripled in size, while ICE’s immigration enforcement arm, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), has remained at relatively the same size.’ This will be funded by accepting the recommendation of the Inspector General for Tax Administration and eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.”

Trump also believes there should be “nationwide E-verify” and that such a “simple measure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.”

Trump calls for a “mandatory return” of any criminal illegal aliens in the country to their home countries. “The Obama Administration has released 76,000 aliens from its custody with criminal convictions since 2013 alone,” Trump wrote. “All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries, a process which can be aided by canceling any visas to foreign countries which will not accept their own criminals, and making it a separate and additional crime to commit an offense while here illegally.”

He also called for “detention” of illegal aliens caught crossing the border, not “catch-and-release” as has been done under President Obama.

“Illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border must be detained until they are sent home, no more catch-and-release,” Trump wrote.

Trump believes that America should “defund sanctuary cities,” too.

The government should, he wrote, “cut-off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement.”

There should also, he wrote, be “enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa.”

“Millions of people come to the United States on temporary visas but refuse to leave, without consequence,” Trump wrote. “This is a threat to national security. Individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires should be subject to criminal penalties; this will also help give local jurisdictions the power to hold visa overstays until federal authorities arrive. Completion of a visa tracking system – required by law but blocked by lobbyists – will be necessary as well.”

In addition to that, Trump believes that the federal law enforcement should work alongside local law enforcement’s “gang task forces” to eliminate crime.

“ICE officers should accompany local police departments conducting raids of violent street gangs like MS-13 and the 18th street gang, which have terrorized the country,” Trump wrote citing news reports about the illegal alien gangs. “All illegal aliens in gangs should be apprehended and deported. Again, quoting Chris Crane: ‘ICE Officers and Agents are forced to apply the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Directive, not to children in schools, but to adult inmates in jails. If an illegal-alien inmate simply claims eligibility, ICE is forced to release the alien back into the community. This includes serious criminals who have committed felonies, who have assaulted officers, and who prey on children…ICE officers should be required to place detainers on every illegal alien they encounter in jails and prisons, since these aliens not only violated immigration laws, but then went on to engage in activities that led to their arrest by police; ICE officers should be required to issue Notices to Appear to all illegal aliens with criminal convictions, DUI convictions, or a gang affiliation; ICE should be working with any state or local drug or gang task force that asks for such assistance.’”

In addition to all of that, Trump laid out how he would build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico —and how he would make Mexico pay for it.

“For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well is in other Latin American countries),” Trump wrote. “They have even published pamphlets on how to illegally immigrate to the United States. The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc. Indeed, the annual cost of free tax credits alone paid to illegal immigrants quadrupled to $4.2 billion in 2011. The effects on jobseekers have also been disastrous, and black Americans have been particularly harmed.”

He noted that the impact from crime by illegal aliens has been “tragic,” yet the government of Mexico profits off U.S. incompetence.

“In recent weeks, the headlines have been covered with cases of criminals who crossed our border illegally only to go on to commit horrific crimes against Americans,” Trump wrote. “Most recently, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record, is charged with breaking into a 64 year-old women’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her. The Police Chief in Santa Maria says the ‘blood trail’ leads straight to Washington. In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found that there were a shocking 3 million arrests attached to the incarcerated alien population, including tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders. Meanwhile, Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States back to Mexico ($22 billion in 2013 alone).”

That means, Trump wrote, that Mexico’s government “has taken the United States to the cleaners” and that “they are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.”

“The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices,” Trump wrote. “Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options].  We will not be taken advantage of anymore.”


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