If you visit Donald Trump’s campaign website in search of the presidential candidate’s positions on the issues, you will find just one issue to choose from: immigration reform. Indeed, Trump has made his immigration proposal the centerpiece of his campaign. Unfortunately, his goal seems to be to provoke, not persuade, and to incite, not inform.
In addition to ending birthright citizenship, Trump’s immigration plan consists of rounding up and deporting unauthorized immigrants, constructing a reinforced wall along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border, and imposing onerous regulations on employers and workers. The plan also calls for increasing costs and red tape associated with work visas, while eliminating some visas altogether.
Trump’s proposal is unworkable, hugely expensive, and harmful to American employers and workers. Given that much of Trump’s wealth was accumulated in sectors that rely heavily upon foreign-born workers, one would expect him to have a greater appreciation for immigration’s role in our economy.
And considering Trump’s status as a business titan, it’s remarkable how few business leaders have spoken up in support of his immigration plan. But the lack of business support should not be surprising, based on my conversations with some of Minnesota’s top business leaders.
After all, immigrants are a vital part of the American economy and our national identity, and their role in American business cannot be overstated. Immigrants create more than one-quarter of all new businesses, and 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, including Minnesota companies like Hormel Foods and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.