The Trump administration and its sycophant GOP enablers seem more than willing to sacrifice the nation’s economic power and growth in exchange for ridding the United States of its darker-skinned immigrant population.
Deportation policies favored by President Donald Trump and his fellow immigration restrictionists — aside from being inhumane and morally bankrupt — directly contradict the president’s no-holds-barred “America First” ambition.
Beyond further diminishing the United States’ global status, the desire to deport hundreds of thousands, even millions, of Dreamers generally, plus El Salvadorans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and others specifically, will have a significant negative economic impact on the country.
According to multiple independent studies, the United States stands to lose hundreds of billions of dollars, stagnate its workforce and deplete a wealth of intellectual capital if it pursues proposed deportation goals.
Immigrants pay federal, state and local taxes; buy consumer goods; purchase cars and homes; and create companies and new jobs at a higher rate than the general population, and they have been the fastest contributors to employment growth.
“The impact would stifle economic growth in an attempt to deport people that are legally contributing to the economy,” said U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Javier Palomarez in a letter to Congress earlier this month, referring only to DACA. “The repeal of DACA is a disservice to all Americans and a disaster for the American economy.”
In a letter to Trump last August, the American Council on Education, representing nearly 1,800 of the nation’s colleges and universities, said, “It remains in America’s best interest to enable [Dreamers] to use their knowledge, skills and energy to make the strongest possible contribution to our country.”
Young immigrants “make significant contributions to the scientific and engineering enterprise in the United States,” according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.
“Many are studying to become scientists, engineers, medical doctors and entrepreneurs,” said former New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt, who now heads AAAS, in a statement last fall. “Our nation’s immigration policies have profound implications for scientific — as well as humanitarian and economic — interests.”
The Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership said, “One crucial, foundational fact is that despite the xenophobic notion that immigrants have a negative impact on the U.S., immigrants in general, but especially DACA recipients, contribute meaningfully to the cultural, intellectual, and economic development of the United States.”
Here are the facts:
“At a time when our economy is growing and our labor market is extremely tight, these are all folks of working age who have skills to immediately contribute,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, told USA Today. “We would be spending billions of dollars to remove folks who have the potential to help the country grow.”
Beyond Just Dreamers
The Trump administration this month said it is ending a program that provides protection to more than 262,000 immigrants from El Salvador currently on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This follows Haiti’s revocation in November, affecting more than 45,000 Haitian immigrants, and Trump’s revocation for Nicaraguan immigrants last year.
TPS allows individuals to legally live and work in the United States.
Salvadorans were granted TPS protection in 2001, when two massive earthquakes devastated El Salvador. Published reports show many have lived, worked and paid taxes in the U.S. for more than 20 years, and an estimated 190,000 U.S. citizens are the children of these TPS recipients.
The Trump administration says it is now safe for these immigrants to return to their country. However, extreme poverty and high crime in El Salvador have led it to become one of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Even a travel advisory issued this month by Trump’s U.S. State Department this month states: “Reconsider travel to El Salvador due to crime. Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”
“The White House is peddling a fantasy where hundreds of thousands of people who have established their lives, families, and businesses in the U.S. for decades will leave or can be rounded up and deported,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., in a statement.