To date, President Trump has not officially sent his immigration bill to Congress, but some of what he is proposing has become public. There is certain to be a backlash to some of the proposals.
Let me begin by observing that the only true Americans are the native Americans (American Indians). First Lady Melania Trump is an immigrant from Slovenia. Additionally, the president’s grandfather came from Germany. This has many of us wondering — why is he is so obsessed with immigration?
There is consensus that we need to secure our borders. However, let us not forget that the incidents of terrorism we have experienced, including 911, were done by people living in the U.S (home-grown terrorists).
Candidate Donald Trump proposed to build a wall on the southern border to keep Mexicans from entering the U.S illegally. Now, the president is proposing to cut the number of people entering the U.S legally each year from one million to 500,000.
Two Republicans in the United States Senate, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas, are sponsoring immigration legislation. Based on location, it is not likely that Arkansas and Georgia will be suffer from terrorist acts.
It is also ironic that these senators are sponsoring the legislation because agriculture drives the economy of their states and their agricultural industry is dependent on migrant labor. A reasonable person could interpret their views on immigration as grandstanding.
The president speaks about illegals taking away jobs from Americans. I wonder how many of us are willing to harvest vegetables during the hot summer months, especially the summers we have experienced recently.
If migrant labor is restricted, who will harvest the nice tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli we eat every day? There is no evidence that immigrants are taking good paying jobs, or any other jobs, from American citizens. This issue has been demagogued with no facts to substantiate this argument.
Additionally, restricting the contributions of immigrants to our economy will have a negative impact on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By definition, GDP is the total amount of goods produced in our economy each year. This restriction will substantially reduce growth in our GDP.
Last month (July) the unemployment rate for the U.S was 4.3 percent. This hardly suggests that immigrants are taking away jobs from Americans. Wages and the level of savings are also up.
The Obama administration deserves much of the credit for our booming economy. Lest we for forget, the Trump administration took office only eight months ago.
The proposal to cut legal immigration in half has as much chance of passing as me winning the power ball lotto (my chances are one in 293 million).
Like many of the president’s proposals, restricting immigration is not rational. Unless changes are made to the immigration proposal, it will be DOA (Dead on Arrival) when it reaches the U.S Congress.
Dr. Noel A.D. Thompson is a political scientist who now teaches at Tuskegee University after many years as a professor at Auburn University.