Is Donald Trump Forcing Jeb Bush to the Right on Immigration?
Although Jeb Bush continues to claim he supports a path to legalization for illegal immigrants, recent comments have had some people scratching their heads. In the book "Immigration Wars," which Bush co-wrote, he outlines a plan for immigration reform. However, in the proposal he released in early August, Bush's tune on immigration seems to have changed. The six-point proposal includes plans to punish cities that don't cooperate with immigration law enforcement. Additionally, Bush's recent use of the phrase "anchor babies", to reference infants born of foreign women who come to the US illegally, has been considered deeply offensive to many in the Latino community. His perceived shift in stance raises the question - Is Jeb Bush vying for the support of anti-immigrant voters who are becoming more and more enamored of Donald Trump and his restrictionist rhetoric?
It is yet to be determined whether Donald Trump's hard-lined position on immigration will be his saving grace or coup de grace. However, one thing is for certain - Trump's agenda exemplifies extreme immigration tactics proposed by some far-right Republicans that are not only infuriating immigration reform proponents but also scaring the undocumented population. Some skeptics wonder if his candidacy is simply a tactic to manipulate other conservative candidates toward a harsher stance on immigration. Jeb Bush may be the perfect example.
Extreme Immigration Tactics
Many hard-line conservatives staunchly believe that all illegal immigrants should be deported to their home country notwithstanding length of time in the US and other extenuating circumstances. Proposed measures to drastically reduce the level of immigration into the United States, and to remove individuals who are currently living here illegally, include the following:
- Tripling the number of federal agents tasked with tracking and apprehending illegal immigrants.
- The construction of additional detention centers.
- Instituting extreme financial tactics including the seizure of all profits from illegal labor, the increasing border crossing card fees, and the potential cancellation of visas for Mexican diplomats.
- The construction of a massive wall on the Mexican border, funded by the Mexican government.
- And perhaps the most controversial proposal: the revocation of birthright citizenship. Implementing this policy would require legislation changes or, more realistically, an outright retraction or nullification of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, which states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."
Criticism of These Tactics
To realistically follow through with this 'capture' and deportation plan, the American Action Forum's director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates that detaining, processing, and transporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants would cost in excess of $400 billion. Consequently, there would also be a $1.6 trillion reduction in the country's gross domestic product as a result of the mass-exodus of workers.
Conversely, a report from the Levy Institute of Economics states that an increase in economic growth would outweigh the cost of legalizing immigrants, making the path to citizenship a positive contribution to the overall US economy. Benefits would include a rise in capital stock, consumption, and labor productivity, equaling an estimated $36 billion in annual contributions.
Additionally, critics of harsh anti-immigration tactics are understandably concerned about human-rights issues surrounding the revocation of birthright citizenship. Many believe that this will result in the development of an overt 'underclass' of US born non-citizens with separate and less rights. A scary thing indeed, but certainly possible in an Orwellian future.
Lee & Garasia, LLC - New Jersey's Immigration Lawyers
If you have questions or concerns about any immigration-related matters, and how the recent political firestorm potentially affects your rights, contact our office to schedule an in-person consultation, during which we can review your individual situation and evaluate what is best for you. Since 1998, our stellar team of attorneys have helped individuals and families obtain US Citizenship, file for their family members, as well as avoid removal. Contact Lee & Garasia, LLC today.