By Raoul Lowery Contreras
Donald Trump’s Presidential announcement on June 16 was not unexpected as he has talked about running for President many times. What was unexpected were his charges that Mexico was sending rapists, murderers and drugs to the United States. That, Trump claims, is official Mexican government policy. He went further and claimed that almost all Mexicans – he never mentioned illegal aliens – except “some” were very bad people, or as he calls them, “dudes.”
He claimed in his announcement that Mexico was ripping off the United States with its “policy” that sends its bad people – all illegally -- to the United States and — “Mexico is killing us” -- through “bad trade deals” of which, of course means the 21-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He wants to build an “impenetrable” wall at the border (which already has fencing for 600 of the 1900 border miles) and to force Mexico to pay for it with its own money.
Trump: “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…”
“Impounding” wages is theft, plain and simple. This action would violate the Constitution’s guarantee of “equal protection.” There might be some argument for a tax on remittances through wire services as exists in Oklahoma today (1%), but the idea of stealing money from people who look Mexican is criminal. Federal officers armed with guns would have to be hired to stand at every Western Union office in the country to steal the money. Of course, people who are smart enough to sneak across the border, find work and stay below the radar will simply open bank accounts with ATM capabilities in which to deposit their money which can be withdrawn through ATMs in Mexico or Guatemala.
Would Trump station federal storm troopers at every bank in the U.S. to profile depositors because they look Mexican and/or illegally present (baseball caps, jeans and running shoes)? Stealing money from people who look different than Trump has been done before by his relatives in Germany in the 30s; will he also charter railroad cattle cars to move millions to the border including American citizens that he says “gotta go!”
Trump: “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.”
More Trumpisms. Trump says that he will force Mexico to pay for his wall. LOL! The “fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices,” means what, Donald? Is Trump aware that illegals pay taxes, billions in taxes? Is he aware that they pay billions into Social Security they cannot benefit from? Where is the proof? Myth and legend don’t suffice. Proof, Donald, where is your proof?
A well-known study by the University of Arizona during the construction boom of the 90s concluded that 75 percent of high paying construction jobs were held by Americans (including legal residents) and they were supplemented by 25 percent of the work force that lacked legal authority to work. There simply weren’t enough Americans to work in construction. Despite that, there was unemployment. Illegals cannot be blamed for unemployment. No matter how much Trump blames illegals from Mexico for unemployment, the suburban mall dress shop is not going to hire teenaged Black girls to serve an all-white clientele. Neither will mostly lily-white construction unions allow Blacks into their unions and hiring halls.
Trump: “(we must) 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)…”
Every day, seven days a week, Mexicans with border crossing cards that allow them cross the border to shop, do business, keep medical and dental appointments and spend billions of dollars in the border commercial area between San Diego on the west and Brownsville, Texas, on the east. Using the commercial border crossing in San Diego, 650,000 commercial Mexican trucks cross into the United States on business and deliver goods or load up and take back to Mexico billions of dollars in goods made in America. Same border crossing card. Trump would jack up the price of the card out of spite. Anticipated result: fewer cards, less money spent in the USA leading to loss of American jobs. Trump doesn’t understand this because he has no experience in trans-border commerce or trade with Mexico of $540 BILLION worth last year.
Trump’s ill-conceived immigration policy is a compilation of long discarded policies promoted by Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) whom the U.S. Senate rejected for a lifetime judgeship because of disastrous testimony by a U.S. Attorney office colleague that Sessions was a racist. This immigration proposal is not “racist,” it is stupid and not carefully thought out. It comes from the crayon-written Ku Klux Klan workbook on immigration and Mexico that Sessions uses for heavy reading.
Contreras has written several books (at Amazon.com) on immigration problems and reform.