Could Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies Start Working Before He Takes Office?

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Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies could realistically start seeing results before his inauguration. The president-elect’s platform for reforming the nation’s broken immigration policies includes three important points, among others: end dangerous catch-and-release policies; stop illegal sanctuary cities; and reverse the trend of allowing more and more benefits to illegal aliens. If these policies are enforced, many would-be migrants will think twice about coming to the U.S. illegally because the benefits may no longer outweigh the cost.

These policies have obviously not been enacted yet, and presidential administrations are notorious about straying from what they promised on the campaign trail. However, illegal aliens and their proponents are taking the president-elect at his word. “Now that Donald Trump has been elected president, I don’t feel safe,” said Claudia Quiñonez, an illegal alien residing in Maryland. “I can be deported.”

returns-graph-wash-postThis type of reaction is similar to what occurred before former president Bill Clinton passed his (ultimately watered down) immigration reforms in 1996. He gave impassioned speeches about fixing a broken system. “The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants,” he said. “The public services [illegal aliens]use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens,” he continued.

Illegal immigrants responded to his rhetoric and actions by choosing to leave the U.S. of their own free will in record numbers. During Clinton’s administration, at least 11.5 million illegal aliens “self-removed” themselves, compared to only 870,000 deportations under the administration. The annual number of these removals increased dramatically after he made immigration a priority in 1995 and 1996. Conversely, under the Obama administration and his non-enforcement policies, self-removals dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s.

The general consensus among illegal aliens who are willing to publicly express their opinions, seems to be a belief that Trump will take a stronger stance on immigration than the outgoing president has. If the Clinton administration is any indication, many illegal aliens will make the decision to leave on their own terms before the president-elect’s reforms are officially enacted.

While many in the mainstream media paint the fear of deportation amongst illegal aliens as a travesty, it should actually be the goal of the federal government considering illegal immigration is a crime. And the resulting self-removals are a desirable result. If unauthorized migrants decide to return to their home countries in lieu of facing law enforcement measures, they do the federal government a favor, and save themselves from being formally deported.

There is nothing wrong with the federal government promoting the enforcement of our existing laws. Those who break our laws – immigration related or otherwise – should worry about the consequences of their actions. Effective rule of law is a cornerstone attribute of American sovereignty, and it protects the jobs and lives of U.S. citizens.

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About Author

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Spencer joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

14 Comments

  1. avatar

    Ligaya Fabian of 1631 El Camino Real #8 Tustin Ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid money to obtain a driver’s license but the dmv found out and revoked the license. She jumpshipped her flight from Germany to Canada at lax to get here. She now has a green card. …

  2. avatar

    We are a country of laws, all men,woman& Children who entered the United States illegally are criminals , they broke the law. They need to be deported, other countries around the world all have laws against people entering their countries illegally, even Mexico who has tough immigratuation laws , where you go to jail for long time. If we don’t enforce our laws like the Corrupt Obama Administration hasn’t done these last 8 Years , crime increases , undocumented illegals have children with the current laws makes the Child a American citizen , which isn’t right..

    • avatar

      Imagine you live in a Country where it’s a serious crime to break into someone’s house and a felony to steal their stuff. Now imagine someone breaks into your house and announces they have “squatters rights” and are going to live in your house for free. Now imagine you call the police, the perpetrator is arrested and taken to jail.
      Now imagine the President of the United States uses his executive authority to declare the perpetrator should be set free, can stay in your house for free, can take your food for free, attend your schools for free, take your healthcare for free and doesn’t have to get a job.

      Sound like a nightmare and too crazy to be true? Nope – its immigration policy under Barack Obama and the ultra-liberal Democratic Party. It’s an outrage. Go Trump. Make the United States great again!

  3. avatar

    They already are according to some of the latest reports! Just like when Arizona tried to enforce the law, they moved out and will again if we see that the laws are enforced!

    We have plenty of honest IMMIGRANTS wanting to come here obeying the law so we sure don’t need a bunch of vetted invaders who may be criminal, terrorists and/or infected with diseases! That’s why we have legal procedures to come here; Protect this country and its citizens!

  4. avatar

    This is one of the things the left never understands – that people react to government policy. You can’t use static analysis of what effect a policy change will have because people don’t just sit there and take it. They react so as to make the change have less of an effect on them. Like if you hike tax rates, you can’t simply conclude you’ll take in that same percentage more in tax dollars because people will react to your new law and take steps to avoid paying the new tax. Similarly with immigration, you don’t have to round up and deport 30 million people. You start by showing you’re serious and picking some of the low hanging fruit like deporting all illegals with criminal records, putting an end to sanctuary cities, etc… Then illegals start to get the message and the flow of illegals slows and illegals start self-deporting because they see the writing on the wall. Then you move on to building a border wall and going after employers who hire illegals. Then more illegals will leave on their own. Then you take away freebies that draw some illegals here and still more will leave. That’s how things work in the real world. We need stop accepting the premises of liberals because they’re usually bogus.

  5. avatar

    The Washington Times reports that a large group of “Dreamers” want President Obama to issue a Mass Presidential Pardon for all the illegal aliens that are currently exempt – from deportation – under Obama’s DACA program.

    NumbersUSA also confirms that “A group of New York state lawmakers and immigration advocates are planning a rally to ask Pres. Obama to pardon 750,000 DACA recipients and protect them from deportation.”

    Such a pardon, if issued, would be beyond outrageous, even for this open borders President.

    The phone number for the White House comment line is 202-456-1111

    There is also a form that you can use (to submit comments) at whitehouse [DOT] gov [SLASH] contact

    • avatar

      According to who?… as an engineer you should use your critical thinking N realize nothing has changed N the same people r still there…the very same that did nothing the last 8 years…now they have another puppet….

  6. avatar

    Ligaya Fabian of 1631 El Camino Real #8 Tustin Ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid money to obtain a driver’s license but the dmv found out and revoked the license. She jumpshipped her flight from Germany to Canada at lax to get here. She now has a green card.

  7. avatar

    It’s no coincidence that Chicago – a Sanctuary City with Gun Control Laws which make it difficult for private citizens to defend themselves – is by far the most violent city in America.

    None of that matters to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who proudly and defiantly announced that Chicago will continue to remain a Sanctuary City now and in the future.

    Apparently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel favors foreign-born murderers and rapists over law abiding U.S. Citizens.

    Anyone who’s outraged over this policy can contact the Mayor’s office at 312-744-3300.

  8. avatar

    Even though Trump’s electoral victory is encouraging, I am concerned about what could happen – with regards to immigration and trade – in the lame duck session of Congress.

    Some members of Congress insist that they must pass a spending bill in order to avert a partial Government Shutdown that would take place after December 9, 2016. Based upon past history, there is always the chance that some immigration and guest-worker visa increases could be placed in the spending package.

    Also, despite Obama’s recent announcement – that he would not push for passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade bill during the Lame Duck Session – there are rumors that Establishment Republicans and Democrats might try to collaborate to pass some aspect of the bill before the current Congressional session expires.

    I’m not sure if any of this will actually happen. However, we must remain vigilant in order to prevent any further damage to our National Sovereignty and Middle Class from happening between now and Donald Trump’s Inauguration on January 20, 2017.

    • avatar

      It was always their intention to pass the TPP trade bill if Hillary won. Her so called opposition to it was late in coming and only because Bernie forced her into it. Trump needs to remind Congress that he won based on opposing these pacts and he needs to call out anyone who tries to slip it through.

  9. avatar

    When you go back and look at the statements of Bill and Hillary Clinton from decades ago, both were anti-illegal. It only shows that they will say anything to get votes. Harry Reid even wanted to get rid of birthright citizenship.

    She’s now blaming her loss on the Comey letter to Congress. Let’s wait a little while to rewrite history. In the week before that letter, Trump made gains of six to eight % in the polls. The fact is that she lost to a candidate with the highest negatives ever recorded and that was on her.

    How dumb do you have to be to stand in public and tell people whose votes you need that they are deplorable.
    Now, not having learned their lesson, the Democrats want to elect a Muslim left winger as head of the party. The media is trying to claim that linking Keith Ellison to the anti Semitic anti white Nation of Islam is incorrect. Nonsense, it’s well documented. Keep lying and the bias of the media only becomes more obvious.

    • avatar

      You have to be Leland=Dumb……why? You cited for Trump N he is already not doing what he said about Obama care