That is the sad reality that many Donald Trump supporters have not understood. Donald Trump will not build a wall on the US-Mexico border. Donald Trump will not deport 11 million immigrants. Nothing will change for the undocumented immigrants in the United States under a Trump presidency.
Let me explain.
Donald Trump met with Mexico’s president in order to create the illusion that he can be presidential. Trump’s meeting with Peña Nieto illustrated that Donald Trump will say whatever words are needed at that moment. On the day that Donald Trump met with the Mexican president, Trump was deferential towards Mexico, Peña Nieto and Mexicans. Trump called Mexico and Mexicans “wonderful”. When pressed about the payment of the wall, Trump said they did not discuss the payments for it, although it is his signature platform for dealing with the immigration problem.
Later that night, Donald Trump told the audience in Arizona, that Mexico would pay for the wall, although Mexicans “didn’t know it yet.”
As with all political rhetoric, two versions of what was discussed have emerged. What is important to note is that Trump’s signature issue, the wall and its payment, was left for a discussion “for later.”
I realize that many of the Donald Trump supporters will not accept that the two versions of who will pay for the wall discussion just demonstrates duplicity by Trump.
Regardless, Trump supporters love to point out to me that Donald Trump is a businessman and not a politician – the two reasons why many support him for president. Yet, therein lies the duplicity.
As a businessman, Donald Trump clearly understands that disrupting the economies between Mexico and the United States would be detrimental to both countries, including the United States. US consumers will simply not allow higher prices and the disruption of trade goods from Mexico.
It would lead to another economic catastrophe like the oil embargoes of the late 1970’s, except that this time it would not be oil, but rather an extensive list of goods that US consumers are used to seeing on the shelves during their shopping sprees.
To believe that Mexico would sit by idly while Donald Trump imposes fees or tariffs to pay for the wall, or stops remittances into Mexico is like believing in the tooth fairy. Mexico has the wherewithal to fight a trade war with the United States. It would be painful for both countries to be sure, but that is the nature of a trade war.
As for Donald Trump not being a politician and the notion that somehow he will disrupt the status-quo in Washington, the fact remains that Trump has been acting like a politician throughout his presidential campaign. Look carefully at how his immigration platform continues to develop, from a draconian expulsion of 11 million people to a much calmer “we will target the criminals” from day one. Trump is evolving his immigration rhetoric depending on his audience and as the campaign gets closer to election day.
That is what politicians do.
Right about now, many of you are thinking that I’m just a Hillary Clinton stooge but the reality is that Clinton will do no more for immigrants than what Obama has already done, which is make things worse. Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president. Clinton will likely keep the status-quo regardless of her political rhetoric to get elected. This is because one of the largest bases for the Democrats is the unions, which do not want the immigrant labor to compete with them nor to put pressure on wages.
To put it in in simplest form, it does not matter whether Donald Trump wins or loses in November, for immigrants the status quo will remain as always.