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President Trump added a line to his State of the Union address, saying that he wants legal migrants “in the largest numbers ever” to come into the United States.
The ad-libbed line echoes Trump’s repeated rhetorical support for the immigration of skilled workers — even though it also contradicts his 2016 campaign theme, his Inauguration Day promise of “Hire American,” his 2018 proposed “Four Pillars” immigration reforms, and his State of the Union boast he is raising wages for his blue-collar supporters.
Inconsistency - Numbers - Ad-lib - Wages - Boast
But the inconsistency of his “largest numbers” ad-lib and his “wages are rising” boast reflects a commonplace dodge by politicians.
Politicians face contradictory pressures every day from investors who demand cheap workers and from voters who want higher wages. The easiest and most common dodge by politicians is to hide behind the law, to pretend that roughly 12 million illegal migrants have a hugely greater economic impact on Americans compared to the impact of 45 million legal immigrants.
Trump - Number - Claim - Argument - Border
Trump’s “largest number” claim appeared after he made his populist argument for tough border security and a border wall: “Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.”
He ended that populist call by telling business donors what they want to hear about legal immigration. He said, “Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”
Trump - Voters - Wage - Growth - Employers
But Trump also boasted to voters about the wage growth that cannot occur if employers can import workers “in the largest numbers ever.” He said, “We are just getting started. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades and growing for blue-collar workers,...
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