Donald Trump just released his first official campaign policy paper.
In an 1800-word proposal, Trump expands on his controversial comments about immigrants living in the US illegally, and suggests taking audacious measures to curb illegal immigration that even some of his Republican rivals have shied away from.
Here are the main points:
- Make Mexico pay for an impenetrable wall along the southern US border. Until Mexico pays for a wall, Trump proposes increasing fees on visas for Mexican CEOs and diplomats, cutting foreign aid to Mexico, and impounding “all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.”
- Deport every immigrant living in the US without permission. Trump goes significantly further than his Republican opponents here, suggesting that the US needs to do deport all immigrants living in the US illegally, and take preventative measures to ensure that no one emigrates to the US illegally. As The Atlantic points out, this would likely cost somewhere between $US400 and $US600 billion, and would reduce the gross domestic product by 5.7% over 20 years. Trump proposes tripling the number of immigrations enforcement officers to do the job.
- Prevent visa overstays. Trump proposes increasing fees on border crossing cards and increasing fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico in order to prevent workers from overstaying their visas.
- De-fund “sanctuary cities.” Trump’s proposal aligns with the consensus among the Republican candidates that “sanctuary cities,” or local governments that do not comply with Immigrantions and Customs Enforcement agency requests to detain suspected immigrants, should not receive some federal money for law enforcement. Multiple courts have ruled that complying with ICE detainer requests violates the constitution by holding individuals indefinitely without probable cause.
- Enact a nationwide e-verify program. The measure — which was part of the immigration reform package that passed the US Senate in 2013 — would allow employers to check to digitised program to see if a potential employee was legally allowed to work in the US. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) have also both backed an e-verify program.
- End birthright citizenship. This is a proposal that’s been gaining steam with some conservative Republicans in Congress. It would likely require a constitutional amendment, as the 14th amendment specifically grants citizenship to all individuals born in the US. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) also supports ending birthright citizenship.
Trump’s platform also doubles down on his claims that immigrants living in the US illegally are responsible for brutal crimes, and are straining the US welfare system.
“The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices,” the proposal says.
Research shows that illegal immigrants are generally less likely to commit crimes than US citizens.
According to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, Trump was counseled on the plan by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), one of the Senate’s harshest critics of bipartisan efforts to enact immigration reform with a path-to-citizenship.
Though it is certainly the reality television star’s most detailed plan to date on how to tackle an important national issue, the proposal isn’t without trademark Trump-isms.
The proposal rails against “wealthy globe-trotting donors,” and specifically calls out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) for his support for a comprehensive immigration bill that stalled in Congress.
“Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities,” Trump’s proposal says, referencing Zuckerberg’s support for the immigration reform package.
Since ascending to the top of the Republican primary field, Trump has been under increasing pressure from other candidates and members of the press to elaborate on his policy positions. According to Costa, the real estate magnate had initially indicated that he’d release a plan in September, but decided to release it early.
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