The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Yes, Pander to Trump on Immigration’

My Politico column today is on Trump’​s immigration plan:

His immigration plan has occasioned the predictable horror that he might pull the Republican field to the right on immigration, or that the other candidates might pander to him. Both are outcomes to be wished for, rather than avoided.

Amid the bar-stool bombast about deporting all illegal immigrants already here (a logistical, economic and humanitarian impossibility) and other characteristically Trumpian excesses is the core of a program that is more sensible than the “comprehensive” solution offered by the political establishment.

What Trump offers is an entirely different framework for considering the issue. It is populist rather than elitist, and nationalist rather than cosmopolitan. It rejects the status quo rather than attempting to codify it. It puts enforcement first and dares to ask whether current high levels of legal immigration serve the country’s interest. In short, it takes a needed sledgehammer to the lazy establishment consensus on immigration.

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