Trump’s Narrative Rejects Immigration Realities in S.C., Nationwide 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Donald Trump’s message “does not reflect South Carolina.”

That’s the conclusion of David M. Beasley, the state’s Republican former governor. “Trump has been very divisive,” Beasley continues, as quoted in today’s New York Times.

Beasley isn’t alone: Ted Pitts, the president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, says of Trump’s stances, “I don’t think that’s at all indicative of where the majority is.” Pitts goes on to note the large electoral victories of Gov. Nikki Haley, who has spoken with pride of her Indian-American heritage, and Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator.

The conversation in South Carolina reflects a broader disconnect between Trump’s narrative and reality when it comes to immigration, as David Brooks notes in a column today.

“The problem with this new orthodoxy is that it is completely obsolete,” Brooks writes: Illegal immigration is dropping. Immigration rates do not correlate with increases in crime. The real terrorism threat is border agencies focusing on the wrong people; “Fighting terrorism by going after the whole swath of immigration policy is like fighting germs with a sledgehammer.”

“Donald Trump’s G.O.P. is a rear-window party pining for a white America that is never coming back,” he concludes. “Ronald Reagan’s G.O.P., and maybe some future G.O.P., will fix the immigration system and attract the people who will make the country innovative, dynamic and interesting for decades to come.”

What would a Trump presidency actually mean for immigration policy? A new piece points out that a President Trump could ramp up deportations significantly without additional funding from Congress. [Already, the U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than all other law enforcement combined.]

Trump also could limit legal immigration, slowing or freezing new green cards and possibly visas for people in line to come here legally. “People getting green cards are the ones who have stood in line!” notes Doris Meissner, senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

“America is better when we embrace the values that have always made us strong,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “Yes, our country is changing. Our response must be to lift up opportunities for immigrants that help all of us thrive.

“Deporting families and limiting legal immigration would spit in the face of conservative fiscal values. It also would mock family values and the human dignity of people who are seeking better lives, be they new immigrant or native-born. That’s not who we are.”



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