Palm Beach Post: Hispanic leaders pitch reform vs. ‘irrational’ Trump immigration plan

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.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…