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Donald Trump the candidate — when he wasn’t busy running on white nationalism — claimed to be a ‘business president’ with unique insights on how to boost the economy. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” he boasted.
Yet in the last year, Trump has presided over a sweeping deportation crackdown that has included businessmen, business owners, and entrepreneurs. He’s raised tensions among business owners, and the Dallas Federal Reserve Chief said Trump’s immigration policies are hurting the economy. In FY 2017, deportations were up 30 percent over 2016, and some business owners — trying to preempt the worst — are selling their enterprises, transferring to relatives, or closing.
Though he ran on a platform of only deporting “bad hombres”, the Trump Administration in practice has detained and deported untold numbers of mothers, fathers, neighbors, community members, and business owners who have no criminal record, pay taxes, own local businesses, and hire American workers. Here are the stories of three immigrant business owners who have been deported or face deportation:
As many as 10 percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. own a business and started a quarter of all new U.S. businesses in 2011. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) found immigrants have higher business ownership rates than native-born Americans. For every 10,000 U.S. immigrants, 62 will start a business ― more than double the rate for U.S. born citizens.
Nearly 6 million workers are employed at over three million immigrant-owned businesses which generated $72.3 billion last year in business income. Forty percent of Fortune 500 firms were founded by immigrants or their children, and in 2010 they generated more than $1.7 trillion and employed 3.6 million people. Of 87 privately held companies with over $1 billion in value, 51 percent had immigrant founders.
Immigrants contribute more than $1.3 trillion dollars to the U.S. economy every year through taxation, consumption and business launches. More than 450 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders support immigration reform that would help create American jobs by empowering immigrant entrepreneurs.
Trump’s view that immigrants are bad for America runs counter not just to the best of American tradition and principles, but the economic facts as well as popular support. Sixty-two percent of Americans support maintaining current levels of immigration or increasing them, while 71 percent oppose mass deportations. Trump may claim to be a business president, but he clearly doesn’t understand anything about the economy — let alone American values, family unity, or morality — if he thinks that business and community leaders like Amer, Roberto, Zhe Long, and Xiang Jin make for deportation priorities.