The US economy is expected to expand because of President Trump’s pro-growth policies. This will mean more jobs, more opportunities, and higher pay. It will also create a magnet for anyone looking for work from Mexico, Central America and South America. 

The left and the media often criticize Trump’s immigration policies. They contend that the number of illegals living in the US have stabilized so there’s no real need for a wall on our southern border or to curb illegal immigration. They say Donald Trump’s policies are just ‘dog whistles’ to gain votes from all the racists out there. His policies are not dog whistles, however, but they’ll address an almost certain future.

By looking at the numbers we can see that illegal immigration rose steadily during times of good economic growth and has only leveled off recently because of anemic growth. Since 2008, lower economic growth has meant fewer quality jobs available to compete for. In addition, Mexico has created new manufacturing jobs because of factories closing in the US. 

The loss of available quality jobs in the US is why illegal immigration has stabilized. So, it’s not a lasting reality. When we have strong economic growth again, it will attract people to this country to compete for those jobs and illegal immigration will once again spike.

No one blames anyone for wanting a better future, but the American people are demanding that our borders and our laws be respected. If someone wants to come to the United States, then they need to follow the legal paths that are available to obtain a visa or to become a citizen. And if a guest visa expires, the American people expect that person to leave the US or face consequences.

The Magnets

Many noncitizens don’t respect our immigration laws because we’ve provided strong magnets to attract them. Basically, we’ve told the world that if they could just get inside the door, then there would be many benefits and job opportunities. Illegal immigrants that cross our southern border primarily compete for jobs in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and hospitality industries. They are able to compete for these jobs because they’ll work for lower wages in the underground economy. American citizens cannot compete with these workers who have much lower costs to employers.

Immigrants are attracted to the opportunities that the US provides and freely choose to circumvent our immigration laws. They believe there won’t be any severe repercussions, so they come. As a result, our country cannot vet these illegals to protect Americans and immigrants that want to enter legally have to endure an even longer process. 

Democrats have been advocating for years for undocumented workers to be legalized. There is good reason to believe in future amnesty too. Back in 1986, Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law that provided amnesty to illegals. Job opportunities, lax immigration laws, and possible amnesty are why many have risked their lives traversing dangerous miles to sneak into our country.  

Jobs: A growing economy creates many opportunities for work. Employers have been allowed to hire undocumented workers cheaply without penalty. This is the number one magnet. 

Birthright citizenship: If you have a baby in the United States, your child is an American citizen and you’ll be less likely to be deported. This is such a strong magnet that some pregnant illegals cross the border just to have their baby in the US. They are called 'anchor babies'.

Public education: It may not be the best education, but it’s provided free. 

Emergency care: Most hospitals will assist anyone with a serious condition, even if the patient cannot pay. Having many illegals without insurance just exacerbates this problem and the costs are passed along to everyone else. 

Sanctuary cities: Many large cities protect illegals from deportation.

Democratic Party: Progressives want to provide amnesty, citizenship and most importantly, voting rights to all illegals. 

More stuff: California would like to provide Obamacare to noncitizens. There are twelve States that issue driver’s licenses. There are also illegals that receive welfare and live in public housing. 

Illegal aliens have broken our immigration laws and they bear that blame. However, the blame for the creation of theses magnets falls on our country’s leaders for not deterring illegal immigration and for not enforcing our immigration laws. Employers that have hired illegal workers are culpable as well. It’s easy to say that we should deport all these illegals, but many wouldn’t have ever arrived if we hadn’t laid out the welcome mat. 

Immigration that Works

We can roll up the welcome mat and close the door by taking away the magnets that attract people to enter illegally. Building an impenetrable southern border wall is an important step along with other border security measures.

To further deter illegal immigration, we need to enforce our existing laws, deport illegals that have committed crimes, and fully implement existing systems like E-Verify. By removing the magnets, by levying penalties for illegal hires, and by cracking down on visa overstays, we will deter future illegals and encourage self-deportation.

Once we have a legal immigration system that works, then we must decide on what to do with the illegal immigrants who remain. It was the Democrat Party that advocated for lax immigration policies just to obtain future votes. So if the Trump administration is looking for a compromise, they could offer legal status to law abiding residents that have American children or that have a long history in our country. In return for legal status, then they can never become US citizens and they can never vote in our elections.

We will have high economic growth because of President Trump’s economic, regulatory, and trade policies. We need to solve our immigration problems at the same time to reward people that enter our country lawfully and to disincentivize people from unlawfully entering by removing the magnets that would otherwise attract them. 

Photo by Edmond Meinfelder

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