Trump’s Immigration Policy Is Common Sense

Democrats must compromise with Trump on border security.

By Ryan Christens (rchristens@wisc.edu) and Alec Bukowiec (abukowiec@wisc.edu)

President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address was described as, “the best speech he has ever given” by his son Donald Trump Jr. and America overwhelmingly saw the speech as unifying and optimistic, with 76 percent of American viewers approving of the speech.

Why was President Trump’s State of the Union so successful? Much of the rave can be attributed to the common sense immigration initiatives President Trump proposed in his speech.

The President expressed his desire for a historic increase in legal immigration to the United States. The President said America needs more legal immigration largely due to decades low unemployment rates which currently hover at 4 percent. It’s simple; America is in the midst of an economic miracle and America has opportunities for legal immigrants to contribute to the economy.

72 percent of American viewers approved of the immigration policies laid out by the President in his State of the Union Address. This overwhelming support for the President’s immigration policies is no surprise, because President Trump has common sense solutions to our broken immigration system. Simply put, a wall on parts of our southern border is not a ‘keep out’ sign; rather, it is a request to use the door.

Most recently, the President signed a spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown. A recent national poll found that 2 out of every 3 registered voters in America support a budget deal that includes money for a border barrier. Despite support from the public, the bill signed by Trump included only $1.375 billion of the $5.7 billion requested for border security. Due to this funding request shortage, Trump also took executive action to further fund the border wall.

While the immigration debate focuses on President Trump’s signature border wall, many Democrats fail to acknowledge that President Trump’s proposal is a holistic immigration reform package. In addition to 234 miles of new steel barriers along the 1,954 mile Mexican border, the package also includes: 750 additional border patrol agents, 75 immigration judges, $700 million for new border technology to combat narcotics and human trafficking, and also $800 million for humanitarian purposes to ensure that families are not separated and no more children die at our country’s border.

Yes, this is the exact proposal that Democrats, particularly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rejected and called “immoral.” In 2013, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, President Obama, and every Senate Democrat--36 of whom still serve today--supported 700 miles of border fencing under the Gang of Eight bill. Unsurprisingly, after President Trump’s election in 2016, Democrats flipped their position simply to obstruct the President, despite their previous support for border security.

If Speaker Pelosi wants to discuss issues that are immoral, we would point to the California Police Officer, Corporal Ronil Singh, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant hours after Christmas.

Democrats--the party who has historically called for tax increases to fund additional government programs--seem to have flip-flopped their philosophy when Speaker Pelosi called President Trump’s border package “expensive.” It’s awfully convenient that this marks one of the few times Speaker Pelosi has shown concern for fiscal responsibility in her 32 years as a career politician.

Meanwhile, as Congressman Mike Gallagher pointed out, the $5.7 billion requested by Trump equates to just .0014 percent of the total federal budget for FY2018. The federal government spends that much every 12 hours.

President Trump understands the importance of compromise in negotiating deals. This is why the the President proposed a three-year reprieve from deportation of 700,000 undocumented migrants brought to the US as children, who are now protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Additionally, the President offered protection for 300,000 immigrants from nations who qualify for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In a true ‘willing to compromise’ fashion, Democrats refused this compromise before Trump even proposed it.

Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer have supported many of President Trump’s policies before he was elected, and they now say “no” solely to restrict the President’s success. Americans have seen Democrats turn a blind eye to immigration reform and instead resort to calling the President expletives. Democrats would do well to start working for the American people and stop playing political games to obstruct President Trump at the cost of endangering national security.

A version of this article was also published in The Badger Herald.

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