The U.S. government’s failure to establish border security is a moral failure and support for illegal immigration is “cruel,” President Donald Trump declared in his second State of the Union as the nearby Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, refused to clap.
The President’s focus on morality contrasts with the Democrats’ determination to persuade Americans that immigration curbs are merely forms of shameful racial discrimination. Trump built his moral case for border security and a border wall by first highlighting the criminal role of the drug and labor trafficking cartels:
Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business …
This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws … Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.
This emphasis on morality shifts the focus from the poor migrants who try to get jobs in U.S workplaces towards the U.S. politicians who quietly endorse the mass migration.
Trump next spotlighted the Democrats’ support for easy-migration policies which transfer wages and opportunities from working-class Americans to older, wealthier investors:
No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools, hospitals that are so crowded that you can’t get in, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not clap as Trump slammed the immorality of her party’s welcome of migrants.
Trump pushed his moral argument even more by tacitly charging Democrats with cruelty for welcoming illegal migration:
Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.
One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country. Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery. Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities — including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states, and they almost all come through our Southern Border. Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City. We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they’re going to keep streaming back in. Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens. I’ve gotten to know many wonderful Angel Moms, Dads and families — no one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache they have endured.
Trump then introduced three Americans whose elderly relatives were allegedly murdered by an illegal immigrant:
Here tonight is Debra Bissell. Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien. They were in their eighties and are survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison. To Debra, Heather, Madison, please stand: few can understand your pain. But I will never forget, and I will fight for the memory of Gerald and Sharon, that it should never happen again. Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.
Trump also spotlighted an immigrant Hispanic border security officer to undermine the Democrats’ attempt to portray border security as a racist campaign:
We are joined tonight by one of those law enforcement heroes: ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez. When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent. Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking. Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.” Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars.
Then Trump made his case for the border wall:
My administration has sent to Congress a commonsense proposal to end the crisis on our Southern Border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry. This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down. San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings. The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities. Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.
Trump rarely departed from the text of his speech. For example, he added the boldfaced text to this passage: “I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”
The establishment’s economic policy of using legal and illegal migration to boost economic growth shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors by flooding the market with cheap white-collar and blue-collar foreign labor.
That annual flood of roughly one million legal immigrants — as well as visa workers and illegal immigrants — spikes profits and Wall Street values by shrinking salaries for 150 million blue-collar and white-collar employees and especially wages for the four million young Americans who join the labor force each year.
The cheap labor policy widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.
Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in Heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that coastal investment flow drives up coastal real estate prices and pushes poor U.S. Americans, including Latinos and blacks, out of prosperous cities such as Berkeley and Oakland, California.