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As Trump kicks off his reelection in Orlando today — and former undocumented Trump property workers organize against Trump’s hypocrisy and exploitative business practices — Frank Sharry, in an op-ed for USA Today, delves into how Democrats can push back against Trump’s glaring weaknesses and failues on immigration against the “great deal maker” in the 2020 elections. We learned in the 2018 midterms that the majority of American voters already oppose Trump’s xenophobia and divisiveness, but it will take confidence, clarity and consistency to make immigration a liability for the President.
Candidates must stick it to the President and not in a shy way, as Sharry points out, “because on his signature issue, Democrats support solutions that hit the mark with the majority of Americans, while Trump is an abject failure and a world-class hypocrite.”
Sharry’s op-ed is excerpted below and available online here:
When President Donald Trump kicks off his reelection campaign Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, expect him to do what he does in every rally: Demonize immigrants, puff up his strongman persona, and bask in “build the wall” chants. He does so because he believes that immigration is a political winner. Many pundits agree with him.
As an expert in immigration policy and politics, I have a different take. If Democrats are deft and daring, they can transform immigration into his Achilles’ heel.
In the world according to Trump, his 2016 campaign rode racism and xenophobia to victory. In the 2018 midterms, he doubled down, invoking caravans filled with criminals and terrorists and producing an ad so racist even Fox News wouldn’t air it. Republicans suffered the largest midterm popular-vote defeat in American history.
…First Democrats should recognize that the public is with them, not Trump. A majority ofvoters believe that immigration is good for America, object to Trump’s race-baiting divisiveness, reject the practice of ripping toddlers from parents and putting kids in cages, oppose his border wall, and want Congress to create a line for undocumented immigrants to get into — with “Dreamers” and Temporary Protected Status holders in front.
…Finally, Democrats need to expose Trump’s cynical motivation for obsessing about immigration. He wants to get voters focused on blaming “the other” so he can keep them from focusing on kitchen-table issues — health care, retirement security, fair wages and more — that favor Democrats. He lines the pockets of his super wealthy friends, picks the pockets of ordinary Americans, and points the finger at brown and black immigrants. This is nothing less than the strategic use of racism in the service of plutocracy.