A Sensible Immigration Strategy

Donald Trump has become the most popular Republican presidential candidate primarily for his anti-establishment posture against what is seen as a do-nothing Congress. What has attracted the most attention from the voting public is his stance against illegal immigration.  He has said he will stop it and reverse the trend by building and wall and deporting entire families of illegal immigrants.

While this rhetoric has struck a chord with the public it’s important to look at what a president can and can’t do. Some have pointed out that it is unrealistic for Trump to expect to be able to round up and deport the estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants. And those who are born here under the Fourteenth Amendment’s stipulation that all born in the U.S. are automatically citizens also makes it difficult to deport them from the country, even if the Fourteenth Amendment was primarily directed toward making slaves and native Americans citizens. 

While everyone says Trump cannot deport anchor babies until the Constitution is amended, these same people didn’t say with as much energy that for President Obama to unilaterally decide to stop deportations the Constitution must first be amended. Only Congress as the Constitutional authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. So there’s an issue of a double standard: it’s acceptable for a Democrat president to act without amending the Constitution, not a Republican.

This points to the fact that illegal immigration is a policy practiced throughout the nation by thousands of local, state, and federal regulators. Every one of their policies violates the Constitution and federal Immigration law, yet they get away with it. Trump doesn’t have to fight the Constitution, he has to fight them. It’s astounding that public officials in this country have become so defiant of federal law. 

At the federal level, President Trump can immediately rescind President Obama’s illegal executive order to stop all deportations and Obama’s order to the Border Patrol to stand down and not enforce the law. He can also suspend EPA rules that interfere with construction of a fence/wall at the Mexican border. These are the easy parts. 

Having to fight all these illegal actions by policy makers is the main task. The only way he can deal with it is to not deport the illegal immigrants themselves, but deprive them of the illegal benefits and subsidies they are receiving. The local politicians refuse to obey immigration law.  He can only control federal enforcement.

There are two ways he can do this. Following the federal government’s obsession with documentation and control of citizens, Trump can, working with a Republican Congress, immediately mandate that all residents of the U.S. carry a tamper proof federal I.D. card. Any man, woman or child who wants to attend a school, receive a benefit, receive any kind of drivers license or permit to work; must have this Federal card. 

And the card’s validity must be checked against current lists of those who have skipped their visa hearings, skipped deportation hearings, appearances in traffic court, and so on.  With today’s computers and the federal government’s information collection capabilities this card’s validity can be verified by employers and schools using an internet based e-verify type system. Trump could have ICE visit businesses and see if all their employees have this Federal I.D. card. If not, the managers should be arrested and fined. 

The next step is mandating that all school districts and employers use this card. This is more difficult for government scofflaws than private sector scofflaws, since it is government that is violating immigration law far more than private business. 

The enforcement power President Trump will have is the ability to withhold federal money. Every state and county gets block grant money. This can be withheld from counties and states that do not cooperate. This is not a trivial amount. In Chicago, every resident brings $4,000 to the county and state. There are numerous Federal programs for school lunches, ESL, etc. Greedy bureaucrats do not want to lose this money. 

He could also, with the help of Congress, make the U.S. an English-only country. This would simply reflect the long established federal immigration policy that immigrants learn English.  Right now over 30 states are English only states. Since Spanish on product labels has been established through sneaky federal regulations over the past two decades, Trump can issue an executive order reversing all these regulations, and require in the future that all products sold within the U.S. use English only. All states must use only English in their government brochures or risk losing Federal dollars.  

The public is not just angry with Congress for being unable -- and apparently unwilling -- to do anything about illegal immigration, they are angry that they see illegal immigrants having so many children and that the government is forcing taxpayers to subsidize them.

This cannot be sustained and is the reason property taxes go up and cities like Chicago have to issue municipal bonds to pay their operating expenses. Cities like Stockton and Chicago have been driven into bankruptcy by excessive government spending.  And so far nobody wants to talk about how much of this debt is due to illegal immigration. 

Local school officials have an authoritarian attitude and force illegal immigrants on taxpayers using policies that are violations of federal law. These actions by government violate the concept, outlined in the Declaration of Independence, that government gets is power from the consent of the governed. Today, teachers unions in states like Illinois and California run the states. And since they want to expand their jobs they need more students. Their solution is to bring in illegal immigrants through the wonderful beauty pageant ideals of equality, fairness, and human rights. But the rights of taxpayers are being ignored and laws are being broken.

Only government has the ability to force illegal immigrants on taxpayers. The idea that big business wants this is outrageous and disingenuous. Big business can’t issue drivers licenses or state I.D.s to illegal immigrants. They can’t force taxpayers to subsidize their education and expensive benefits. Big business is not in control of illegal immigration, government is. And taxpayers are yearning for a president who will enforce existing law and stop the anarchy that has taken over their communities. 

Since immigration law scofflaws are now present in most school districts and state governments, the only tool a President Trump would have is to withdraw federal program dollars for their refusal to obey the law.

Finally, Trump should follow a Marco Rubio type of citizenship program. Using the information gained from these Federal I.D.s Trump can require all immigrants to enroll in a new program, state who they are, get in line, pay fines and learn English, etc. And also establish a guest worker program for those who work temporarily. 

In the long run, only a program that responsibly reintegrates illegal immigrants into the immigration system, deports criminals, builds a wall, and allows guest workers; will deal with every aspect of the problem in a sensible, responsible way. What we have today is government-mandated anarchy. Both the taxpayers and economy are suffering.