Hispanic business leaders gathered Wednesday in West Palm Beach to champion the economic contributions of foreign-born workers, picking up the beleaguered banner of immigration reform four months after President Donald Trump stormed the White House in a campaign launched with a blistering attack on “rapists” and criminals from Mexico.
“We stand here a stone’s throw from the southern White House,” said West Palm Beach attorney Lazaro Mur, referring to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “What we want is a message of rational immmigration reform that makes economic sense, not irrational mass deportations that make so sense at all.”
In the primaries a year ago, Trump took a populist route straight past the GOP’s corporate and establishment wing, which largely supported a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants. A flurry of arrests and deportations early in his administration clearly sent a message, though executive orders have been tied up in court challenges and Congress has been slow to pony up money for a border wall.
About one in five of Florida’s 20 million residents was born abroad, according to research cited Wednesday. They paid $23.4 billion in taxes and wielded $73 billion in spending power in 2014.
The briefing was organized by New American Economy, a coalition of business leaders and mayors launched by Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to influence public opinion and policymakers toward comprehensive immigration reform.
Read the full story from Palm Beach Post: “Hispanic leaders pitch reform vs. ‘irrational’ Trump immigration plan“