OPINION

Bob Dane: On immigration, Trump needs to sell, not soften; add not subtract

It’s not clear whether Donald Trump is “softening” his position on immigration or whether the media is reading too much into his recent comments that he’s “willing to work” with the illegal alien community. 

Trump - and all candidates of both parties - must reject amnesty and stand fast on the principle that our immigration laws must be enforced and that immigration policy must serve our broad national interests, not special interests or Hail Mary political expediency.

- Bob Dane

It is clear from the polls, however, that Trump needs to expand his support. Given that general election campaigns are always a desperate exercise in adding to, not subtracting from, their potential voting base, there exists the temptation to backpedal on issues in order to expand constituencies. And no issue is more vulnerable to late-stage second guessing and remodeling than immigration.  

But if a policy position is principled, it shouldn’t change.  

Trump’s immigration plan – the published version on his website versus the oftentimes butchered verbal one – is indeed a solid plan with a sensible principle that proclaims, “Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”

Why soften it? Sell it and sell it confidently to the communities that will benefit most.  

Illegal immigration and massive legal immigration impacts Hispanic communities first and foremost because foreign nationals from south of the border often settle in already established Hispanic communities. These communities then bear the brunt of competition for housing, jobs, education and social services.  

Hispanic assimilation, especially economic assimilation, can be aided by reducing immigration. With fewer newly-arrived immigrants – or millions of amnestied aliens to compete against – Hispanics will enjoy a tighter labor market, higher wages and a better shot at upward mobility. When that happens, we all win.

Trump – and all candidates of both parties – must reject amnesty and stand fast on the principle that our immigration laws must be enforced and that immigration policy must serve our broad national interests, not special interests or Hail Mary political expediency.

Amnesty has nothing to do with reforming immigration and it is a serious and insulting miscalculation because it assumes that legal Hispanic citizen voters who came to America the right way are willing to reward a candidate for rewarding people who came here the wrong way.

Trump should sell, not soften, principled immigration policies to those who may benefit the most. That adds, rather than subtracts not only to his campaign, but more importantly to the well-being of the entire nation.

Bob Dane is Communications Director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

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