Donald Trump has made no bones about his opinion on illegal immigrants (or undocumented immigrants, depending which term you prefer.) Trump started his presidential campaign with a series of racial slurs, and as the Inquisitr has recently reported, today he outlined his plan to “fix” America’s immigration system.
To Donald Trump’s supporters, this all sounds great; I don’t have to describe most of Trump’s fan base to anyone. They’re the extreme-right, the wealthy, and are generally of the “all illegal immigrants out” brigade.
As reported by the New York Times, Trump’s plan centers on three principles; first, that “a nation without borders is not a nation” which calls for a wall to be built along the southern border – which is a little spurious at best, given that America actually shares a northern border with Canada as well.
Second, Trump intends to make Mexico pay for the wall by increasing border-crossing fees. It also calls for “eliminating tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.”
Finally, Trump’s plan states that “any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”
Oh, and Donald Trump also wants to kick out any American citizen who was born to illegal immigrants, so there’s that, too.
Unfortunately for Donald “Run America Like A Business” Trump, he clearly doesn’t have a clue about how the economy actually works.
You see, a successful business owner looks for ways to minimize expenses while maximizing profit; that’s Business 101. And as a 2013 article from the New York Times points out, it’s estimated that illegal immigrants pay about $15 billion annually into social security, while only taking out $1 billion. In fact, as USA Today has pointed out in the past, social security relies on the taxes of illegal immigrants to remain solvent.
A moment’s thought shows us how this can work; as long as someone is living in the United States, they’re paying taxes. You pay sales tax on groceries, most illegals still pay income taxes, many pay property taxes, but it’s hard to get anything (like those tax credits Trump talks about) back out of the system if you’re not actually a valid part of it. Getting social security benefits requires having a social security number. And estimates say that somewhere between 50-75 percent of illegal immigrants do pay income tax.
Okay, so what about the jobs Donald Trump says they’re taking? Once again, the New York Times has this covered; many illegal immigrants are doing jobs that Americans won’t take. In spite of continuing high unemployment rates, farmers can’t find American citizens willing to work harvesting crops. When Alabama enacted new laws to drive out illegal immigrants, the local poultry industry almost collapsed because they couldn’t find enough citizens willing to do the work.
Of course, Trump also mentions wages, because these platforms always do. It’s common knowledge that illegal immigrants are willing to work for less than citizens; often for less than the legal minimum wage. Again, that looks like a problem on the surface but referring back to the 2013 NYT article, while it is true that illegal immigrants have negatively impacted the average wage of American adults slightly, they’ve caused a higher increase in the hours and wages of skilled workers.
So, Mr. Trump. If we’re going to run America like a business, looks like we’ll be needing a lot more illegal immigrants and a lot less pointless, expensive walls. A little less implied racism would be nice too, but I won’t be holding my breath.
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]