I’m glad Donald Trump finally gave his immigration speech because it highlighted an important point in this election cycle: You’ve been lied to.
One of the ongoing memes this election cycle has been that Trump and Hillary Clinton are essentially the same. If you’re going to cast your vote for Trump, you may as well cast it (the narrative goes) for Clinton because Trump isn’t a true conservative.
Let me be the bearer of harsh reality: Trump and Clinton are worlds apart.
It’s a psychological crutch for the reality impaired. People so blinded need to tell themselves things like this so they can create a psychological safe space wherein they can convince themselves that a write-in or third-party candidate is somehow a principled vote. Really?
Let me be the bearer of harsh reality: Trump and Clinton are worlds apart. They’re not even close. The resulting administrations would be vastly different. You will get one or the other of these candidates. No third-party candidate has ever won the presidency. Not even close.
Not even close? What about Teddy Roosevelt? Yes, it’s true. Reality-challenged pundits like to point to Teddy Roosevelt — who went third-party — and try to portray him as though he nearly won because he came in second place. But it’s only a near win if you consider losing the electoral vote 435 to 88 and losing the popular vote 42 percent to 27 percent as somehow being on the verge of victory. Considering that the Republicans (whose votes he split) took 23 percent of the popular vote, Teddy was closer to third than he was to first.
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That leads to other harsh reality, which is this: One of these two, either Trump or Clinton, will win. You will either have President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump.
If you don’t want Clinton for president but you are still in the NeverTrump camp, you’ve either been deceived by the pundits or you haven’t honestly compared the two on their actual positions. And by “honestly compared,” I don’t mean that you’ve read some article by an anti-Trump source who said Trump was exactly like Hillary on a given issue. Those are opinion pieces, the author’s opinion — they’re not even Trump’s opinion. Usually, these pieces are designed to prove how Trump’s stances aren’t conservative enough, which is a clever ruse to make you forget that Hillary’s positions are the opposite of conservative. They’re anti-conservative — to say nothing of anti-American.
In other words, one candidate (Trump) is close to what you believe; the other (Hillary) is the opposite of what you believe. Although I’d be willing to bet that if you were to actually look at Trump’s positions, he is almost exactly what you believe (assuming you’re a conservative). And yet, despite this, you’ve been maneuvered into believing Trump is the same as Hillary. Don’t blame the clever, manipulative pundits.
I’m glad Trump’s immigration speech is all over the news, because when it comes to comparing the differences between Trump and Hillary, there really is no starker difference than their immigration plans. Trump’s speech seemed to take many people — and especially many pundits — by surprise, which is odd given that it so closely mirrored Trump’s written plan that has been on his website for months. (Heaven forbid that a Trump-is-exactly-like-Hillary pundit actually read it.) Although Trump’s speech gave 10 succinct points, the following are taken directly from his website. Trump wants to:
1.) Build a wall along the southern border
2.) Triple the number of ICE officers
3.) Nationwide E-Verify
4.) Mandatory return of all criminal aliens
5.) Detention — not catch-and-release
6.) Defund sanctuary cities
7.) Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa
8.) Cooperate with local gang task forces
9.) End birthright citizenship
10.) Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs
11.) Requirement to hire American workers first
12.) End welfare abuse
13.) Terminate the J-1 visa program and replace it with a jobs program for inner-city youth
14.) Immigration moderation
Numbers 10, 13, and 14 need a bit of explanation. America graduates plenty of STEM students (science, technology, engineering, and math) but employers use the H-1B program to hire low-cost immigrants over American graduates; raising the wage removes the incentive for employers to hire foreigners over Americans. Similarly, the J-1 visa program encourages the hiring of foreign students over our own students; Trump wants to end that and replace it with a job bank program that promotes hiring inner-city youth. And “immigration moderation” means instituting a pause in immigration so employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of currently unemployed Americans.
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By contrast, on her website, Hillary wants to:
1.) Introduce comprehensive immigration reform
2.) End the three- and 10-year bars
3.) Defend President Obama’s executive actions
4.) Do everything possible under the law to protect families
5.) Enforce immigration laws humanely
6.) End family detention and close private immigration detention centers
7.) Expand access to affordable healthcare to all families
8.) Promote naturalization
Nearly all of these need some explanation. Number one is amnesty, plain and simple. Or, as she puts it, “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office.” Amnesty. Ending the three- and 10-year “bars” mean she wants to do away with current immigration law that, if an immigrant overstays their visas, they have to return to their country and are barred from visas for three or 10 years, depending on the length of overstay. So for Hillary, if you’ve broken the law, no problem. Like how Obama got around the laws via executive action (which were struck down by the courts) — Hillary wants to not only keep these but promises she will use more executive actions if Congress doesn’t bow to her will.
You’d think that doing “everything possible under the law to protect families” would mean protecting people like the Angel Moms, whose children were killed by illegal immigrants, but she doesn’t mean protecting American families, she means protecting immigrant families. Hillary says she wants to stop detaining those crossing the border illegally and wants to close “private detention centers.” This is odd, because these centers are set up via the Obama administration. It’s not like people are out there setting up private jails and heading out to capture immigrants and hold them for ransom. (Perhaps she’s confusing the U.S. with ISIS?)
And, naturally, Hillary wants to offer free health care to all families — but once again, these are immigrant families and not the 10+ million Americans still without health care, despite the miracle that is Obamacare.
Finally, you’d think promoting naturalization would be a good thing — but what she’s actually calling for is speeding up the process to become a citizen and lowering the fees to do so. While many people might agree this would be good for those who are trying to do things legally, with Hillary it’s a reward for those who broke the law in the first place. But in typical slippery Hillary speak, note that she’s promoting naturalization and not assimilation. There’s a big, big difference between the two. Naturalization means you become a citizen (and get a voting card and access to government programs). Assimilation means you become an American. There is a world of difference between people who want to come here, who want to embrace our heritage and our culture and to throw off their past and take on an American future. None of that is part of Hillary’s plan. Hillary’s plan puts her politics first, not America first.
As I listened to Trump’s speech, and knowing the two plans and their differences, one question kept coming to mind that I’d like to ask Hillary — why not put America first? This is America. Shouldn’t an immigration plan put Americans first? You know, the ones who spent their lives building the country that is so great that everyone wants to come here. Shouldn’t we put the interests of those people, those Americans, first?
As I said, either Trump or Clinton will be president. Whoever that is will institute one of the above immigration plans. One plan is pro-American — the other is pro-immigrant. One puts America first — the other puts immigrants from every other nation first. Which do you support?
You, and America, will get one or the other of these immigration plans. That’s reality.
Mark Anderson is a business strategist and the host of the “I Spy Radio Show,” Oregon’s second-largest radio network show.