In 2017, Trump Needs to Deliver on his Campaign Pledges

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

December 31, 2016

For the first time in history, a presidential candidate ran on a platform that espoused as its central theme immigration enforcement. Donald Trump, mocked from the instant he announced his candidacy in June 2015, racked up a series of primary wins by repeating during the ensuing months a simple but memorable phrase, “We are going to make our country great again.” Candidate Trump also pledged to become the greatest jobs president “that God ever created.”

New Year to ring in with meaningful immigration enforcement.

The Obama administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws and Trump’s promise to secure the borders, review job-killing employment-based guest worker visas and vet Muslim refugees resonated across America. One by one, other primary entrants, many of them pro-immigration and media darlings, fell by the wayside: Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio (Gang of Eight champions), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and H-1B advocate Carly Fiorina. Trump never wavered from his grassroots, America-first platform.

When Trump delivered his immigration speech in Phoenix, he may have sewn up the presidency. Beginning by saying, “I am a man who loves his country,” Trump attacked special interest group elites who “make an absolute fortune” from open borders, and emphasized that immigration “does not serve you the American people.” Trump railed against sanctuary cities, and named many of the victims of criminal aliens that the Obama administration had allowed to be freed, a policy his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton would have preserved.

The candor with which Trump outlined his immigration vision motivated millions of Americans to flock to the polling booth to vote for him, and to reject Clinton who wanted more immigration and more refugees.

As 2017 begins, Trump has the awesome responsibility to deliver on his promises. He’ll have no honeymoon. On immigration, Trump has pledged to do the following within his first 100 days in office: secure the border, cancel President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions that include deferred action for childhood arrivals, cancel all funding for sanctuary cities, and begin to remove roughly 2 million criminal aliens. Nations that refuse to repatriate their aliens will lose access to U.S. visas.

Trump will be ably assisted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in implementing these long overdue measures. But while optimism about the new administration is warranted, long-time enforcement advocates who have endured many disappointments have earned the right to be cautiously optimistic. Seeing is believing.

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