On Trump’s immigration policy speech

EditorialBy George Miller


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump did his big immigration policy speech tonight, 8-31-16, in the friendly immigration battleground state of Arizona. He laid out his team’s policies in detail. He did this after an impromptu visit in Mexico with their President, at his invitation to both Trump and Clinton, earlier in the day. They agreed to disagree and at least began a dialog. Plaudits to President Enrique Peña Nieto for initiating that- it will likely pay dividends downstream, but right now he is taking major heat for it.


Scene at the U.S. Mexican border. Trump plans on building a bigger, better wall than depicted and doing things internally as well.

At the Phoenix event, Trump made a point of showcasing people like former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Jeff Sessions, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, The “Angel Moms” and other illegal immigration hardliners, probably to offset criticism that he was going soft on illegal immigration.

He kept his main points he has been talking about all along. But some important clarifications of what he would and wouldn’t do were well articulated, along with many of his usual talking points loved so much by his base. Just so you won’t be kept in suspense, the big news is that what he won’t do is go after longtime, peaceful, law-abiding working families, although some may not see staying as in their best interests.

It is instructive that the illegal immigration issue has struck such a responsive chord. Most political scientists/pundits/politicians were totally caught by surprise on this. It will have to be addressed in some fashion, or there will be far more pushback.

My “takeaways” from the Trump speech:

(please refer to the linked speech transcript or event video for full details/actual wording- recommended)

  • He and many millions of others are very concerned about the de facto open borders system. This is in violation of the law and is jeopardizing economic and physical security of our nation, which could cease to exist without rational, enforced rules to safeguard it.  This has been a bipartisan disaster, but with Democrat policies being even worse than Republican.
  • Trump said it is in both the U.S, and Mexico’s interests to control the flow of dangerous materials, weapons, drugs, criminals/terrorists and yes, people (of many countries, both ways), across our mutual border. 
  • Immigrants have contributed much to our nation, but we DO have every right to determine who comes here and under what terms, to benefit our own Citizens and our own workers-m America first
  • Trump would put his top priorities on apprehending and deporting: criminal illegal aliens (“zero-tolerance” policy), clearly identified threats, visa overstays, users of government benefits, those illegally employed (they will need work visas). Removing people here a long time, living lawfully, productively was at the bottom of the list. While we said “there will be no amnesty,” he hinted that we may never get around to them, due to priorities, resources and our need for them. He did say that people seeking Citizenship would have to leave first and get in line.
  • He would start work immediately on a physical barrier (the much-discussed, “big, tall, beautiful wall”) and yes, he would “have Mexico pay for it,” but in an indirect way which they would have no real control over. Sheriff Joe Arpaio actually had more to say about how than Trump did, earlier in the evening.
  • He would initiate work on an improved visa tracking/enforcement system and checking worker authorizations,.
  • The border patrol would be strengthened, especially physically on the borders, ICE, DHS.
  • He would work on defunding “sanctuary cities” which now flout immigration law.
  • Trump promised to support passage of “Kate’s law” for dealing harshly with criminal illegals who re-enter the country.
  • Immigration would continue, but laws would be enforced, quotas would be adhered to, entries would be heavily vetted for likelihood of success, assimilation and economic self-sufficiency. He did not specifically discuss work visas.
  • Trump favors “security zones” for refugees to remain in the middle east, to shelter them in place rather than the far more expensive and risky method of bringing them here. And he would make Gulf countries pay for it. That might be a tall order, since it was American disruption, in part,  which destabilized Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
  • He pointed out that Obama and Clinton both violate/advocate violating the law, via: sanctuary cities, amnesty executive orders, visa overstays, catch and release and release of violent felons- all of which he would halt. He said that a Hillary presidency would result in millions more illegal immigrants and thousands of violent criminals.

The clarified plan might be one that more people can get behind. Clearly, the current approach isn’t working. He promised that his plan would improve peace, rule of law and prosperity, with lower crime, fewer illegal border crossing,  disappearance of gangs and reduced welfare costs. He recommended that resultant savings, which he termed a “peace dividend,” could be invested in rebuilding cities, starting with inner cities. Obviously, pure open border advocates will object to the plan.

Trump recommends “sunsetting” immigration laws, to force Congress to periodically update them to deal with changing conditions/priorities.

Not addressed was the issue of work visas. Many people, including employers, have complained that the system is far too expensive and slow, discouraging workers and employers alike, leading to illegally circumventing the system or inhibiting enterprise.

Text of Trump’s immigration speech

Event video


CJ news article on this:

Donald Trump shares 10 immigration points in Arizona speech

Donald Trump shares 10 immigration points in Arizona speech

By Michael Hernandez Phoenix—“The fundamental problem with the immigration system is that it serves wealthy donors, politicians and special interests,” said Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump in a major policy speech given at the Phoenix Convention Center Wednesday evening. Earlier in the day, Trump met with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City […]

George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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William "Bill" Hicks
William "Bill" Hicks
4 years ago

I think he was lacking in detail as to the HOW he intends to achieve his stated goals.

There was once a workable program to deal with agricultural needs calle the Brucero Program. Those that are within my age group can probably explain it to those college kids that only get one side of an issue. BUT laborers were allowed to come and work the fields during peak season, then go back to Mexico when they were finished. Now they get the benefit of our government largesse and stay here permanently with better benefits than mexico has never dreamed of providing their citizens. This all started with Ceasar Chaves and the labor union he created. It’s a longer story than can be posted. But for the young that are interested, just ask someone over 60 years old what it was like.