A tale of two walls: how Donald Trump’s immigration plan would hurt Arizona the most
Arguably the two biggest issues in the minds of Arizona’s voters are illegal immigration and the economy. Donald Trump and his cronies in mainstream media have been able to push his rhetoric to the point that he seems like the best choice on the surface, but it’s Ted Cruz’s immigration plan that would actually benefit them the most by far. It isn’t even close.
Before discussing Cruz’s plan, let’s debunk a couple of narratives surrounding Trump’s plan.
- “Trump wanted to build the wall first.” – This is patently false. Cruz has been fighting for a border wall since 2012 when Trump was still lobbying for amnesty. That narrative has been completely ignored by mainstream media because it doesn’t fit with Trump’s inflated persona. You have to go to smaller sites like this one before you’ll see the truth. Even mid-range conservative sites were pushed down by most of the media when they asked if Trump actually got the idea from Cruz. The only mainstream site that mentioned Cruz’s plans for a wall was The Week, a liberal news site, and they were trying to paint Cruz’s plan as a negative months before Trump even entered the race.
- “Trump will get rid of illegal immigrants.” – Again, false. Trump’s plan is called “touchback amnesty” and only “gets rid of” a tiny percentage of illegal immigrants who were convicted of felonies. Otherwise, they will be sent back for a free vacation to their homelands before being reinserted into the Arizona population as legal residents. In many ways, touchback amnesty is actually worse than other liberal amnesty plans because it will cost a tremendous amount more to send them back and bring them back in. Cruz’s plan calls for pure deportations. If they broke the law to get into the country, they shouldn’t be rewarded with Trump’s fast track plan to bring them back in legally on the American taxpayers’ dime.
- “Mexico will pay for it.” – It’s the type of campaign promise that you see in junior high when the prospective class president promises to have root beer flowing through the water fountains. It’s ludicrous to think that a country that holds debt over us would randomly forgive that debt and then pay for something that they don’t want. It’s hyperbole as detailed in The Art of the Deal and is designed for one reason only – to diffuse discussions about paying for the wall itself. It will be expensive regardless of how many condominiums the President has had built. Trump knows this but he also knows his supporters are the least likely people in the country to factcheck his claims.
With all of that understood, let’s look at Cruz’s plan:
SECURE THE BORDER
A Cruz Administration’s first priority for immigration reform will be to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. We will:
- Build a wall that works. The unsecured border with Mexico invites illegal immigrants, criminals, and terrorists to tread on American soil. I will complete the wall.
- Triple the number of Border Patrol agents. Securing the border is the federal government’s obligation. I will dedicate the force necessary to do that.
- Increase vital aerial surveillance and other technology along the border. Adding boots on the ground is not enough. Eyes in the sky and other equipment are necessary to find and detain all illegal entrants.
- Finish the biometric tracking system at our nation’s ports of entry. It is disgraceful that our federal government cannot keep track of those who enter the country. I will complete a biometric entry-exit tracking system.
RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW
We need a President who will follow the law, hold those who break it accountable, and take seriously the duty to protect Americans. To restore the Rule of Law, a Cruz Administration will:
- End President Obama’s illegal amnesty. President Obama has issued over 20 illegal executive memoranda rewarding illegality. I will rescind each and every one on my first day in office.
- Increase deportations and end catch-and-release. Our laws are not being enforced. I will restore our commitment to enforcement, public safety, and the Rule of Law by rededicating DHS to fully enforcing the law, including through deportations and returns.
- End sanctuary policies, sign Kate’s Law, and deport criminal immigrants. There are about 340 sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States. They make a mockery of our laws and endanger our citizens. I will end support for these jurisdictions.
- Prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving financial benefits and strengthen E-Verify. American taxpayers should not be funding benefits for those who are here illegally, and American jobs should not go to those who are here illegally. I will protect Americans’ wellbeing by stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars and instituting a strong e-verify system.
REFORM LEGAL IMMIGRATION TO PROTECT AMERICANS
In order to strengthen our immigration system, protect national security, and better serve American workers, we must:
- Suspend the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program. New allegations detail appalling abuses of the H-1B visa program – a program meant to create American jobs and spur economic growth. I will suspend the program for 180 days to investigate abuses.
- Halt any increases in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high. The purpose of legal immigration should be to grow the economy, not to displace American workers. Under no circumstances should legal immigration levels be adjusted upwards so long as work-force participation rates remain below historical averages.
- Enforce the public-charge doctrine. Current law requires legal immigrants to certify that they will be economically self-sufficient. A Cruz Administration will ensure they do not receive government assistance, which defies the law and harms American taxpayers.
- End birthright citizenship. Birthright citizenship was not intended to legalize the children of people who are breaking the law by entering and staying in the country illegally. I will take steps to pass legislation or a constitutional amendment to end it.
Ted Cruz has pushed for a wall since Donald Trump’s days of defending amnesty, but that’s not even the issue today. What will hurt Arizona is the influx of suddenly legal immigrants that the state will have to pay for in Trump’s touchback amnesty plan. Only Texas will carry a larger burden than Arizona overall, but individual taxpayers in Arizona will pay the most.