Memo to Angry Trump Supporters: Trump is Actually Weak on Immigration

Donald Trump hypnotizes with endless talk of building a wall, obscuring his real record and positions on immigration.

By John Zmirak Published on February 25, 2016

Many Republicans angry with the GOP establishment are rallying to Donald Trump, and the key issue they’re concerned about is immigration. Such conservatives (including some friends of mine) resent the attempt of America’s donor class to make 2016 a Soviet-style, one-party election on this issue, with both candidates holding what they see as essentially identical positions. They remember how back under George W. Bush, Karl Rove used GOP money in primaries to throw the races to open-borders candidates. They saw how the GOP establishment tries to paint every politician who agrees with them as an “unelectable” extremist. And they’re still seething about the Gang of Eight and Marco Rubio’s role in that effort to legalize millions of illegal immigrants.

But resentment is not enough. Anger is a healthy, God-given emotion, and not something that Christians should automatically suppress. But it’s never wise to let anger outshout every other human impulse, such as … skepticism about men seeking public office. Or caution about handing the bloated, metastasized powers of our presidency to Trump, a man who has a track record of acting like an autocrat. Or even simple, human curiosity about the record of a man who is asking us to hand him the same powers over the IRS, FBI and CIA that Richard Nixon once had.

So for those out there still open to skepticism, caution and curiosity, here’s a brief list of things we know about Donald Trump on his signature issue, immigration:

Trump Rejects American Blue Collar Workers to Hire Cheap Immigrant Labor

The New York Times (H/T Charles W. Cooke) looked closely at the hiring records for one of Trump’s proudest achievements, his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. As the Times discovered:

Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers there. But according to federal records, only 17 have been hired. In all but a handful of cases, Mar-a-Lago sought to fill the jobs with hundreds of foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries…. [Trump] has also pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago since 2010, according to the United States Department of Labor, while hundreds of domestic applicants failed to get the same jobs….

“You almost have them as indentured servants,” said Danny Fontenot, director of the hospitality program at Palm Beach State College. “And they affect everyone else’s wages. You can make a lot of money by never having to give your employees raises.”

As Cooke points out, Trump is now condemning companies such as Disney for trying to import high-tech workers, but “by Trump’s own logic, the H-2B program that he so heavily used is even more egregious than the H-1Bs system that Disney took advantage of. Why? Well, because unlike H-1Bs — which can in theory be used to recruit skilled workers — H-2Bs are aimed directly at the bottom of the economic ladder.” If nothing else, the rank hypocrisy should give everyone pause.

Trump Favors a “Touchback” Amnesty That Could Be Just As Expansive as the Gang of Eight’s

Perhaps the most effective activist organization supporting border control in America is NumbersUSA. If all one read were the headlines, one might expect that such a group would be wildly enthusiastic about Donald Trump. But NumbersUSA reads more than headlines; it carefully analyzes the stances of candidates for Congress and the White House, and its rating of Trump on the issue of amnesty wavers between “Harmful” and “Mixed,” depending on what Trump is saying this week. NumbersUSA president Roy Beck was alarmed by the following statement from Trump on what he would do after identifying and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, at taxpayer expense:

I would get them back, I would get them back where they are, and I would try to work out a process where they can come in legally. But, they have to come in legally, it’s about laws, it’s about borders. If we don’t have a border, we don’t have a country. So, I get them out, and if they were really outstanding, because some of these people have been here for a long period of time, I’d let them back legally. They have to come through a legal system, and I’d make that system much faster, much quicker. I want people to come into the country.

Trying to make sense of Trump’s comments, Beck confessed that he was stumped:

Once the prerequisites have been met, he would move quickly to get deserving illegal aliens back into the United States. But who are the deserving ones? Some previous comments suggest that it might be only people who have worked hard (illegally) at U.S. jobs and not used taxpayer assistance. Some people think his comments suggest that only illegal aliens with highly valued skills would be allowed back in. Or maybe it is just anybody who didn’t build a criminal record while in the U.S. Depending on the answer to this question, the number allowed back in might be as high as nine million….

Trump Has Flip-Flopped and Demonized Conservatives on Immigration

Way back in August 2015, Eric Owens of the Daily Caller documented how malleable Trump’s position on immigration has been over the years, and how Trump played a part in viciously marginalizing conservatives on this issue:

As recently as 2012, Trump endorsed a broad pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens that is remarkably similar to President Barack Obama’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform.

U.S. immigration policy “must take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump told journalist Ronald Kessler in the immediate aftermath after the 2012 election.

He condemned Republicans for “mean-spirited” attacks on illegal immigration and for a “maniacal” policy of self-deportation in 2012. He suggested that hostility on the issue partially cost Mitt Romney the presidency.

So if angry GOP voters intend to hold Marco Rubio responsible for what he did in 2012, why not Donald Trump?

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