President Donald Trump built his promised border barriers by fighting and overcoming deep opposition from the so-called swamp, according to a top pro-establishment aide who resigned in protest.
“He insisted on a near-total focus on issues that he said were central to his reelection — in particular building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico,” said an op-ed by Miles Taylor, who worked as a top aide to pro-migration appointees and Republicans.
Taylor worked for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretaries Kirstjen Nielsen and Kevin McAleenan, and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, all of whom opposed Trump’s pro-American immigration reform agenda. Taylor’s op-ed showed how Trump overcame the swamp after he allowed himself to be distracted for two years:
The president would make obviously partisan requests of DHS, including when he told us to close the California-Mexico border during a March 28, 2019, Oval Office meeting — it would be better for him politically, he said, than closing long stretches of the Texas or Arizona border — or to “dump” illegal immigrants in Democratic-leaning sanctuary cities and states to overload their authorities, as he insisted on several times.
Taylor’s allies help block Trump’s policy of prosecuting all border crossers, including the migrants who brought their children as legal shields. Taylor told MSNBC: “That’s inhumane. And it’s unAmerican. And it’s something we consistently said no to, and ultimately it’s one of the reasons why the President wanted us out of the administration and I was glad to leave.”
Trump’s determination and threats to close the California border were vital to his eventual victory over the illegal migration of blue-collar workers through the southern border.
The Washington Post recognized his victory on June 7, 2019:
The agreement, which came just two days before Trump had vowed to impose a 5 percent, across-the-board tariff on one of the United States’ top trading partners, called for the Mexican government to widely dispatch its national guard forces to help with immigration enforcement, with priority in the south, on its border with Guatemala, according to a joint statement.
In addition, the two countries would expand a program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), created this year, that allows the United States to return Central American migrants to Mexico while they await the adjudication of their asylum hearings in U.S. immigration court, a process that can take months.
Trump’s deal with Mexico slashed the number of blue-collar migrants getting to the border by roughly 90 percent.
Trump also pushed many additional legal reforms that now allow U.S. officials to quickly deport the vast majority of the arrivals. “Eighty percent of the people that [Border Patrol] is apprehending, they’re literally putting back across the Mexican border in under two hours,” DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told Breitbart News.
Trump also got money to build his wall by declaring a national emergency. The wall helps to deter many illegal migrants from making the increasingly dangerous and tough journey through the deserts and scrubland.
The end result is that Trump has accomplished what prior presidents refused to try: blocking blue-collar migration through the Mexican border despite wide gaps in the law and the growing pressure from poor people outside the United States.
The block helped force companies to raise blue-collar wages — until China’s coronavirus crashed the economy.
Taylor is a Never Trump recruit and is a member of Republican Voters Against Trump. That makes him part of the GOP’s establishment wing, which seeks to boost the stock market and U.S. international power — “national security” — by using orderly mass-immigration to import more workers, consumers, and renters, regardless of the impact on Americans’ pocketbooks and opportunities.
Taylor revealed his non-populist, security-minded priorities in an August 18 interview on PBS:
I believe in border security. We need to have a strong border and a strong immigration system, but also one that’s welcoming and consistent with America’s open arms towards immigrants.
But we don’t do that by trying to create sharp barrier bollards on the southwest border that cut people’s arms off who are fleeing violence and persecution.
Taylor told PBS that his establishment GOP faction can win elections by discarding Trump’s social-conservative and populist agenda in favor of “a more inclusive society”:
I’m going to be doing everything that I can after this president loses reelection to make sure that we rebuild the party, rebuild the [GOP} platform, expand the tent, and show that we’re for empowering Americans, and a more inclusive society, and a very strong America going into this century.
Taylor and his establishment allies are trying to reopen their supply of new consumers by first distracting the public with the chaotic diversity that is largely caused by prior waves of cheap-labor migration.
The federal government should recognize “outrage with police brutality and frustration with the racism and injustice Black and other communities of color face in our country …. [and] be allies in the work to heal the wounds of racism, injustice, and oppression,” said a June 15 statement by Taylor and like-minded former government officials.
Trump’s determination to block blue-collar migration is a good sign for the current fight over white-collar migration, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers.
The determination could help Trump fill his 2016 campaign promises, especially if he is aided by the activism of white-collar workers and professionals, Lynn aid.
So far, Trump has set curbs on the inflow of H-1B workers, ordered a rewrite of the visa-worker regulations, and saved 200 jobs that were being outsourced by the Tennessee Valley Authority, he said. “The [outsourcing] contracts for consulting firms at the TVA are being canceled… That’s a very positive step,” he said. “I have to believe that given the actions with the TVA, that the President is sincere.”
But, he added, Congress and the agencies are fighting Trump’s curbs on white-collar migration. “He would have been better served to have appointed non-swamp creatures [to agency jobs] … He needs to make sure, from his cabinet on down, that his appointees do not work to undo the campaign promises he is attempting to keep,” Lynn said.
Taylor’s like-minded allies are being pushed out of the administration, Taylor suggested in an August 19 MSNBC interview:
A lot of people went into this Donald Trump presidency thinking that the President’s misguided impulses could be ameliorated. We were proven decisively wrong. The President’s worst impulses can’t be ameliorated. And I think what you did see was a lot of people resigned from the administration because of that.
The establishment is trying to block Trump’s popular policies by diverting public and media attention from jobs and wages towards riots, diversity, and claimed racism, Lynn said.
“When these guys are talking identity politics and racism, it is the most cynical of strategies, because they know the kind of [civic] solidary that needed for employees to come to come together and fight the corporatocracy is undermined by identity politics,” he said.
More data re. the obvious: 2:1 majorities of Americans want fewer CEOs hiring visa workers #H1B & migrants in the economic crash.
That's good for Trump's team & bad for Biden's team, so it gets minimal coverage by the powerless journos in estb. media. https://t.co/azheWrAYLH
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 6, 2020
As he appears in the media, Taylor repeatedly reveals the establishment’s anger at Trump’s on-again, off-again determination to overcome the establishment demand for more blue-collar migration. He wrote in the Washington Post:
One day in February 2019, when congressional leaders were waiting for an answer from the White House on a pending deal to avoid a second government shutdown, the president demanded a DHS phone briefing to discuss the color of the wall. He was particularly interested in the merits of using spray paint and how the steel structure should be coated. Episodes like this occurred almost weekly.
The decision-making process was itself broken: Trump would abruptly endorse policy proposals with little or no consideration, by him or his advisers, of possible knock-on effects. That was the case in 2018 when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced, at the White House’s urging, a “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute anyone who crossed the border illegally. The agencies involved were unprepared to implement the policy, causing a disastrous backlog of detentions that ultimately left migrant parents and their children separated.
Incredibly, after this ill-conceived operation was rightly halted, in the following months the president repeatedly exhorted DHS officials to restart it and to implement a more deliberate policy of pulling migrant families apart en masse, so that adults would be deterred from coming to the border for fear of losing their children. The president was visibly furious on multiple occasions when my boss, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, refused.
Still, Trump persisted: Migrant numbers went down and blue-collar wages went up.
Immigration shifts wealth from wages to stocks, from young to old, from central states to the coasts, from the many to the few.
Yes, migrants get huge relative gains in pay & civic life by moving into US.
But investors skim the $$ from the diversity#H1Bhttps://t.co/PVA75K3v9T
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 21, 2020