Trump Traffics in Fear, Falsehoods

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In his acceptance speech Thursday evening, Donald Trump repeated his fear-based and sometimes false rhetoric regarding immigrants, including refugees.

As some have noted, the speech was a far cry from Ronald Reagan’s approach to immigrants and immigration; the economy; and governing.

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life,” Reagan said in his farewell address. “ … In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

Trump’s immigration plans include mass deportation within 18 months of all immigrants here without authorization, which would require extensive government resources at an extreme cost to taxpayers. One estimate, from the conservative American Action Forum, estimates the tab at up to $620 billion for the deportation effort alone and an economic loss of close to $2 trillion.

“We are going to build a great border wall,” Trump promised once again in his speech. He has estimated the cost of such a wall at $10 billion to $12 billion, a bill outrageous enough for U.S. taxpayers — and the more likely price tag would be at least $25 billion.

In a continued hard right from GOP platforms of the past, he also has proposed banning certain immigrants, contrary to the U.S. Constitution and due process.

“We don’t want them in our country,” Trump also said Thursday, when talking about immigrants fleeing violence and persecution from war-torn countries.

“There’s no way to screen [Syrian] refugees,” he said — despite a rigorous screening process that includes multiple security checks as well as cultural orientation.

Polling continues to show that Trump’s message on immigrants and immigration — based neither in facts nor reality — does not resonate with many conservatives across the country.

A new poll indicates that a strong majority of Republicans favor granting undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn citizenship, quite the opposite of a mass deportation approach. And earlier this week, a poll showed a lack of support for Trump’s approach on immigration among Republicans in three swing states.

“Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has shock value, certainly, but it is no way to unite a country and move us forward,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “Should he care to listen even to those within the party he now represents, he would see a far different picture.

“Where Ronald Reagan celebrated America’s freedom and promise, Donald Trump celebrates only fear and our worst instincts. America is better than that.”


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