With a few simple words in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Donald Trump reminded America that combating illegal immigration is just part of his broader commitment to standing up for ordinary Americans against elitists.
“No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” the President said.
“Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders, while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards,” he explained. “Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration, reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools, hospitals that are so crowded you can’t get in, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.”
I was floored. This simple truth lies at the core of Washington’s consistent failure to fix our country’s broken immigration system, but it was studiously ignored until Donald Trump came along.
Here, in a speech in which he touted bipartisan unity as a way to overcome the political gridlock in Washington, President Trump put a spotlight on this central hypocrisy of American politics.
For decades, establishment politicians have tolerated or even encouraged mass illegal immigration while promising voters they would do exactly the opposite. For the same reasons that illegal immigration hurts the working class, it also benefits the wealthy and well-connected political class.
It is they who get to hire illegal nannies and domestic servants for bottom dollar. It is they who get to lecture us about jobs that “Americans just won’t do” while they slash wages and staff their businesses, factories, and service crews with illegal aliens in place of the Americans who used to do those jobs.
As the political class profits from illegal immigration, the working class pays the price.
It’s blue collar workers — and especially blue collar African Americans — who see their wages stagnate or fall when millions of poorly-educated illegal aliens are allowed to enter the same job market. The ranks of stock brokers, college professors, lawyers, and consultants that feed our political pipeline, meanwhile, are virtually unaffected, because politicians have made sure that we rigorously enforce limits on immigration by highly-skilled immigrants.
It’s blue collar communities whose schools have turned from healthy, working class institutions of social mobility into failing, poverty-stricken drains on taxpayer budgets. While the wealthy can send their kids to private schools or move to affluent suburban school districts, working Americans have to stay put and watch as their educational resources are depleted by the children of illegal aliens, many of whom do not speak English.
Working Americans are the ones who actually rely on America’s social safety net programs, yet those programs are now being starved of funds by the illegal immigrants who have flooded into our country with the tacit encouragement of elitist politicians
Blue collar Americans aren’t stupid, as assumed by the elites in Washington and New York. They know exactly what’s going on.
Polling consistently shows that working class Americans are more likely than their white, college-educated countrymen to recognize immigration as a burden on the country and favor stricter immigration enforcement.
The only ones seemingly unaware of this are the out-of-touch politicians in Washington. Maybe, with this momentous State of the Union address, that will start to change.
“We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens,” the President told Congress (emphasis mine).
He’s right, and it’s long past time for the elitists in Congress to put that duty ahead of their own self-interests.
Marilyn Kelch Gubler
Marilyn is a Las Vegas native, businesswoman, and first female Chairman of the Clark County and Nevada State Republican parties.