tags: Press Releases

“A Roadmap that Would Lead Us Over an Economic Cliff” – The Massive Economic Damage of Mass Deportation and Gutting Legal Immigration

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Washington, DC The scope of Donald Trump’s second-term immigration vision is sweeping and would be devastating – not just for immigrants but also for the rest of the nation and its economy and key industries. It would deal a blow to economic vitality, community safety, and core American ideals. In response to Trump’s vision, as detailed in a recent interview with Time magazine and in policy blueprints from allies like the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 agenda, key observers are beginning to paint the picture of what a mass purge of millions of immigrants would look like and what making substantial cuts to legal immigration – or eliminating it altogether – will mean. The reality is that immigrants are strengthening America, moving whole industries forward and helping to tamp down inflation, despite the relentless scapegoating and nativism of Trump and allies. Some examples from recent news coverage:  

  • Forbes column by Stuart Anderson, “Economists Criticize Trump Plan To Deport Longtime Immigrant Workers,” noting: “New data show almost 80% of unauthorized immigrants have lived in the United States for a decade or longer, raising questions about deporting a group with such deep roots in the country … Economists reject the notion that mass deportation would ‘free up’ jobs for U.S. workers … According to [George Mason University economics professor Michael] Clemens the results imply “that for every one million unauthorized immigrant workers seized and deported from the United States, 88,000 U.S. native workers were driven out of employment.” Clemens calculates that if the U.S. government deported three million unauthorized immigrant workers per year, “that would mean 263,000 fewer jobs held by U.S. native workers, compounded each additional year that mass deportations continue.” The same article notes that the Congressional Research Service has determined that “5.2 million children ages 17 and under (7% of the total U.S. child population) lived with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent. Eighty-five percent of those children were U.S. citizens.” Forcing so many U.S. citizens out of the country or placing them in foster care will no doubt put a strain on social services, schools, and other community institutions.
  • NBC News article by Suzanne Gamboa, “Trump restricted legal immigration in his first term. Will it happen again? noting: “Trump’s record on immigration, as well as his playbook of proposals called Project 2025 — spearheaded by the conservative Heritage Foundation with input from former Trump administration officials — offer a good idea of what could be in store for noncitizens who have come into the U.S. or are trying to come through legal means … ‘What we saw last time, you would see again, but likely on steroids the next time around,’ said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan think tank on trade and immigration … ‘If you listen to him, he is very consistent in his focus on immigration. His shorthand on how he would change legal immigration is when he talks about letting in people from nice countries, which is code for white,’ said Angela Kelley, a senior adviser at the American Immigration Lawyers Association … Kelley, from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the conservatives’ recommendations and Trump’s previous actions on legal immigration are ‘a roadmap telling us this is the path this candidate would take if elected, and it is a roadmap that would lead us over a cliff.’” (Note: Angela Kelley is also a consultant to America’s Voice). 
  • CNN article by Matt Egan, “Trump has promised an immigration crackdown if reelected. That could backfire on the economy,” noting: “…economists worry that Trump’s proposed immigration crackdown — if it survived legal challenges — would backfire on the US economy by worsening worker shortages, reigniting inflation and forcing the Federal Reserve to keep borrowing costs high for even longer. ‘If he follows through in deporting a significant amount of immigrants, that’s going to be very difficult for businesses,’ Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, told CNN. ‘It’s going to cause them to raise wages and prices.’”
  • Star Tribune article by Emma Nelson and Christopher Vondracek, “A promised immigration crackdown if Trump wins re-election could cripple Minnesota’s workforce,” noting, “Immigration policies under former President Donald Trump slashed the number of people entering Minnesota from other countries as the state was grappling with a workforce shortage due in part to an aging population. If Trump wins his one-term-delayed re-election in November, a promised crackdown on both documented and undocumented immigration — including barring refugees, carrying out mass deportations and limiting birthright citizenship — would likely hit an even tighter job market and send shock waves through the state’s economy.”
  • Houston Chronicle editorial, “Economy looking good? Thank the immigrants among us”: noting, “…nativist fears and xenophobic inclinations are not only roiling the nation but also threatening to undercut a growing economy … So let’s just wipe out those advantages to our nation, shall we? That’s effectively what Trump proposes to do if he wins a second term in the White House.”

The damage of a Trump second term on immigration – from re-upping family separation to mass deportation to the allied Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 agenda – was the topic of a virtual briefing event held on Monday of this week, featuring immigration experts and analysts from America’s Voice, Cato Institute, Niskanen Center, and the American Immigration Lawyers Associationwatch a recorded version of the briefing HERE.