This summer, billionaire Republican candidate Donald Trump said on CNN that Obamacare had to go. When a reporter asked what he’d replace Obamacare with, he responded “something terrific.”
The eyeballs of pundits rolled, while his fans applauded. Typical, bombastic, generalizing Trump.
But that was June.
Recently, Trump set the standard for specificity in his immigration plan that all the other candidates will now have to meet. On his website, he lays out the three main principles of his immigration plan:
- A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
- A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
- A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
He goes on to say that “the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners. They are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.”
If elected, he’d defend the laws and Constitution of the United States by tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, using a nationwide e-verify system, enacting a mandatory return of all criminal aliens, detaining illegal aliens instead of releasing them at the border, defunding sanctuary cities, enhancing penalties for overstaying a visa, cooperating with local gang task forces, and ending birthright citizenship.
Additionally, he would prioritize American workers by increasing the prevailing wage for H-1Bs (non-immigrant visas that allow American companies to employ foreign workers in specialized fields); require companies to hire American workers first; making sure immigrants can pay for their own housing and food before they come over (effectively minimizing welfare abuse); replace the J-1 job program with a resume bank for inner city youth; increase the standards for the admission of refugees and asylum-seekers to crack down on abuses; use the saved money for American children in bad circumstances; and allow immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.
Trump’s deportation position echoes the fact that most voters think the federal government is not aggressive enough in deporting those who are here illegally. We are a nation of laws, and Americans want to see our laws followed. If we don’t like the laws, Congress can change them. His immigration plan will resonate with a broad cross-section of grassroots voters, particularly tea party members and conservatives, giving him a benefit him in the primaries and caucuses.
Trump is dealing head-on with the difficult issues while more establishment candidates fret over focus groups and polls. As a man whose career is not at stake, he has everything to gain and nothing to lose. This puts his opponents in a difficult and dangerous position. Love it or hate it, everyone else is now playing catch-up.
Americans are ready for this nation to be “something terrific” again. Trump just laid down a plan to get there that many will favor.