The Conservative Alternative to Trump
May 5, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee has the resounding support of Pat Buchanan, Donald Trump’s nativist rhetoric becomes more than just an issue for the GOP’s voter outreach. His extreme mass deportation proposals have clear detrimental economic and foreign policy implications as well.
Building on previous research, the American Action Forum reports that in 2012 roughly 6.8 million private sector workers were undocumented, making up 5.6 percent of all employed people in the private sector.
The study found that if all undocumented immigrants were removed from the labor force, that worker decline itself would reduce private industry output by about $400 to $600 billion, and cause particular strain on the agriculture, construction and hospitality and leisure industries.
The Republican Party — and our country — face a choice: to go down the path of isolationism and nativism, or to embrace our nation’s immigrant history and ensure that new Americans have the opportunities, skills and status they need to reach their fullest potential.
“Conservatives have an alternative [to Trump]: They can aggressively and loudly distance themselves from Trump and his rhetoric and instead embrace the opportunity and potential our changing demographics offer. Many have distanced themselves from Trump. Not coincidentally, many want a pragmatic, humane immigration process, starting with a respectful conversation,” wrote Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum in a Fox News Latino op-ed today.
“In coming years and decades, a diversifying workforce’s ingenuity and productivity will help support an aging population. We need to ensure that our nation thrives by conducting a conversation, and eventually by passing laws, that help new Americans reach their fullest potential.
“Will the 2016 presidential election put a large nail in the coffin of Republicans’ hope — and demographically urgent need — to court new American voters? Time will tell.”