When people tell me that Donald Trump’s election as the nation’s 45th president shocked them, I reply that they must not be paying attention to what goes on around them. The nation is a mess---the economy is in the doldrums, most of the few available jobs are part-time and low-paying, the infrastructure is crumbling, the massive $20 trillion national debt is getting bigger, the $531 billion trade deficit is poised to go higher---and these are merely the most glaring problems that have festered under President Obama.
And since Democratic candidate, former First Lady, former New York senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is inexorably associated with Obama, she started out with two strikes against her, even though the mainstream media led Americans to believe she was a lead pipe cinch to be elected.
Clinton’s third strike came in multiple forms---her personal server, deleted e-mails, lies she told to Congress, to the FBI and to the public in her campaign ads did her in. Fed up voters distrusted the political status quo that Clinton is an ingrained part of.
But Trump deserves credit for aggressively campaigning on an issue that has resonated with Americans for years. That is, enforcing immigration laws, and developing immigration levels that work for instead of against citizens. Clinton has a diametrically different view about immigration than Trump. She’s on record as favoring open borders, vastly expanded refugee resettlement, and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.
For more than five decades, American voters have urged federal and state candidates to formulate sustainable immigration policies. And for each of those 50 years, voters have been rebuffed with empty, unfulfilled candidates’ promises that, if elected, the border will be secured. Gallup polls have shown for decades that a substantial portion of the public, often large majorities, favor reduced immigration. In 1965, Gallup first asked the question: “Should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?”
Yet both the Republican and Democratic parties ignored the public’s desire for less immigration, but for different reasons. The GOP’s Chamber of Commerce wing has relentlessly pushed for more guest worker visas and the cheap laborers to whom they’re are issued. Democrats, on the other hand, have aligned themselves with illegal immigrants, possibly envisioning them as future voters.
New York Times’ David Brooks recently wrote that the federal government has asked a lot of suffering Americans to accept “extremely, radically high immigration levels.” Brooks wrote his Op-Ed before the election, but under-skilled, non-college graduate voters turned out in big numbers to vote for Trump.
Then, on Election Day, the Los Angeles Times interviewed Trump voter and Cuban immigrant Helen Hernandez who expressed her opinion that many Americans share. Hernandez said that immigration “has gotten out of hand,” and that “…Everybody can come. It’s too much. There has to be some kind of restrictions, even for us, for Cubans, for everybody.”
Hernandez sees what Presidents Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama didn’t—that too much immigration is bad for everyone especially the most recently arrived immigrants. In 2008, and again in 2012, Americans voted for change, but got Obama’s version which they hadn’t bargained for. Consequently, in the Mahoning Valley between Ohio and Pennsylvania, an energized voter erected a homemade sign with a message directed to the elites and that summed up Trump’s victory: “You had your chance. It’s our turn now.”
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org