Maybe Trump Isn’t So Crazy, After All

In one of the more classic cases of visiting that one mall you lambasted just a year ago, American presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Mexico this week. There, he sought to clarify his proposed immigration policy, and the most important elements of his shifting plan are outlined below, as published in the New York Times:


Donald Trump’s 7-Point Immigration Policy

Build the wall;

End the catch and release policy for undocumented immigrants and instead return them to their country of origin;

Have zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime, and deport them;

Repeal President Obama’s executive orders that temporarily protected undocumented immigrants from deportation and authorized them to receive work permit;

Stop issuing visas to any country where “adequate screening cannot occur” that might endanger national security;

Ensure foreign countries take back deported immigrants from the United States;

Complete a biometric entry and exit visa tracking system under development “on land, on sea, in the air.”


I will not offer a rebuttal of Trump’s proposed policy here; such a topic is trite subject matter at this point in the campaign season. Instead, I will attempt to show that Trump’s policy is not terribly extreme when considering the Republican Party’s stance on this issue. To do this, let’s go down the checklist one by one.

Build the wall;

This isn’t such an alien policy as it seems. Fences or walls, their basic functions are the same, and if fences are taken into account, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 under President Bush’s administration serves a prime example. Additionally, the mainstream Republican platform this year included Trump’s wall proposal, suggesting that it isn’t as crazy of an idea as it seems (practicality is another concern).

End the catch and release policy for undocumented immigrants and instead return them to their country of origin;

This is a classic Republican view on undocumented immigrants residing in the US. The catch-and-release policy, in fact, was repealed by President Bush in 2006 before President Obama restored it with similar policies. Therefore, Trump is repeating a position already taken by a Republican president a decade ago.

Have zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime, and deport them;

Admittedly, no candidate has really thought to propose such a policy that is so impractical; but that’s Trump for you. And during the 2016 campaign, Republican candidates eventually endorsed mass deportation measures and began a race to the bottom to be tough on immigrants.

Repeal President Obama’s executive orders that temporarily protected undocumented immigrants from deportation and authorized them to receive work permit;

This one’s easy; 26 states in 2014 filed lawsuits against the executive branch attempting to obstruct President Obama’s executive orders. If a Republican becomes President at any point within the next decade, one of his/her first actions would be to repeal the executive orders. In fact, the Supreme Court got in on the fun and essentially froze DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability).

Stop issuing visas to any country where “adequate screening cannot occur” that might endanger national security;

Here, here, and here.

Ensure foreign countries take back deported immigrants from the United States;

This one’s interesting; both Democrats and Republicans pressured the Obama administration earlier this year to punish countries that refused to take back deported immigrants, whether it be by canceling foreign aid to such problematic countries or stripping them of their visas.

Complete a biometric entry and exit visa tracking system under development “on land, on sea, in the air.”

The biometric entry and exit visa tracking system has technically been law for decades, signed into the legal code by President Clinton. However, successive presidents failed to really implement the policy.

As you can see, Trump is no revolutionary. Republicans (and Democrats, at times) have been exhorting his policies for years; only when he began his racist rhetoric did politicians realize he would give them a bad name and began painting the perfect embodiment of their ideals as a party outcast. This is in no way a defense of Trump, but more an indictment of the politicians who somehow believe that he’s not one of them. Without renouncing his policies which they have supported historically, the Republican Party cannot legitimately distance itself from Trump’s campaign.


Image Source: http://abcnews.go.com/International/mexican-president-trumps-statements-represent-threat-mexico/story?id=41791882

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