For Better Or Worse, Donald Trump May Be The Only Immigration Patriot Running For President
Print Friendly and PDF

trumpamericadeserveWhy did real estate mogul Donald Trump spend Saturday afternoon addressing the Republican Party Convention in Horry  County SC (wherever that is)?

Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Ocean Bay Middle School on Saturday afternoon.

He stopped, shook hands, took pictures with people, and signed autographs….

He was greeted by a group of students playing string instruments in the hallway. When he entered the gym, another group played their reggae instruments to the tune of 'My Country Tis of Thee.'

Even though Trump hasn't announced his candidacy he said he will make sure I-73 in South Carolina would be complete if he is elected.

Donald Trump addresses crowd at Ocean Bay Middle School, by Liz Cooper,, April 12, 2015.

My hunch: Donald Trump is, finally, going to run for President. In a few months, he will be 69 years old. (Hard to believe, I know). Running for President has been on his bucket list for a long time. If he doesn’t run this year, he will probably never get the chance again.

For immigration patriots, this could be very good news.

Nothing better illustrates the false paradigm of Democrat vs. Republican than the prospect of two Open Borders advocates once again vying for the Oval Office. As of this moment, there isn’t a genuine immigration patriot who appears ready to throw his hat in the ring…except, maybe, Donald Trump.

I choose the word “maybe” carefully—because maybe Donald Trump will run and maybe Donald Trump is an immigration patriot. Given that he has no voting record, it’s hard to say for sure. But given Trump’s public criticisms of GOP squeamishness on immigration over the last few years, Trump certainly deserves a closer look. [Donald Trump warns GOP, Marco Rubio on immigration, By Elizabeth Titus, Politico,March 6, 20114]

Donald Trump, like most Oval aspirants, has wanted to run for President since he was a boy. That much is obvious if you read his book The America We Deserve.

These days, most Oval Office aspirants write a campaign book prior to running—a book most of their supporters and critics don’t bother to read because they are almost always God-awfully boring. And yet they can also be quite revealing.

Who can doubt that few people who purchased Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope actually read it? If they did, they would have found revealing passages like: “I will stand with [Muslim immigrants] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

Had Obama been forced to defend statements like that in 2008, perhaps we would not be where we are today.

However, Donald Trump published The America We Deserve fifteen years ago when he first thought of running, and in it he often articulates an unabashedly America First perspective on foreign policy, trade, and immigration:

“It comes down to this: We must take care of our own people first. Our policy to people born elsewhere should be clear: Enter by the law and leave.”

That may be a simple statement, but Trump made it well before immigration became a front-burner campaign issue. In his more recent campaign book, Time To Get Tough: Making America #1 Again (2011), Trump advocates a strong pro-enforcement position, which includes building an impenetrable wall at the Mexican border and abolishing Birthright Citizenship.

Unlike Scott Walker or Marco Rubio, Donald Trump has clearly been an immigration skeptic for some time. In fact, he is the only prospective candidate who acknowledges that most immigration today is not an “act of love” but a crime—a crime against the American people. I’ve read a number of Trump’s writings and speeches and I’ve yet to detect a genuine post-American worldview in any of them.

The tricky thing is that, on the surface, Donald Trump does not fit the prototype of an immigration patriot. He is a Manhattan plutocrat who rubs elbows with celebrities, socialites, and financial and political elites. We’ve been hoodwinked by such people before, so we have to wonder what Donald Trump could possibly have in common with the rest of us.

My 2 cents:

I suspect that those who seek higher office or celebrity status usually have an inferiority complex toward something. For Trump, it appears to be Manhattan. I lived in New York City for a decade, and I can tell you that those who live in the “outer boroughs” (Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island) often have an enormous inferiority complex toward Manhattan, no matter how much money they may have.

Most people don’t realize that Donald Trump is a “borough boy” from Queens. Sure, he grew up in a wealthy family, but he didn’t grow up like the rich kids across the East River, even though his family probably had more money than many of them.

Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, was a wise businessman who made his fortune building middle-class apartment complexes in the boroughs and suburbs of New York City. But Fred Trump thought that Manhattan was too risky a market to enter, so the Trumps only did business in the boroughs.

Unlike most Manhattanites, Donald attended the all-boys New York Military Academy upstate where (unlike our current President) he actually excelled at athletics. When he wasn’t in school, he was working in the family business.

If George W. Bush’s relationship with his father is, as Steve Sailer has put it, “admiring yet resentful,” Donald Trump is admiring of, yet competitive with, his father. Trump has enormous respect for his father, but he has always been desperate to outdo the man. So when Trump entered the real estate business after college, he set his sights on tackling Manhattan—both the real estate, and high society.

We all know by now that Donald Trump obviously succeeded. And from reading several books by and about Trump, my guess is that while he may have conquered Manhattan, he clearly does not consider himself one of them. Trump likes to hobnob with post-American elites, but he also has a healthy contempt for them—the kind of contempt one acquires from growing up in Queens.

Manhattan elites typically view immigration the way Michael Bloomberg does. Bloomberg infamously told radio host John Gambling: “You and I both play golf; who takes care of the greens and the fairways in your golf course?" [Bloomberg: Illegal immigrants help golfers, UPI, April 1, 2006] Those who live in the boroughs—much closer to the immigrants who do the jobs Americans allegedly don’t want to do—have long had a much more skeptical view of immigration.

That is the perspective Trump seems to bring to the subject of immigration…even if he now lives on Central Park South atop a building that bears his name.

This Queens background might also explain why Donald Trump can get away with speaking plainly in ways that other people can’t. He has a remarkable ability to both charm an audience and ruffle their feathers.

Remember, Donald Trump is arguably the only public figure who has ever forced President Obama to back down—when he successfully challenged him to release his birth certificate. [Obama Releases Long-Form Birth Certificate, By Michael D. Shear, NYT, April 27, 2011. ] Editor Peter Brimelow tried to stay away from the birth certificate issue “(which doesn't mean that I completely rule out the possibility the Birthers will prove to have been on to something. If Obama had been born on Mars, I wouldn't trust the MSM to tell us)”—but the fact is that Trump got Obama on the defensive.

The GOP Congressional Leadership—not so much.

In fact, the only other person who has had the courage to stand up to President Obama is Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department.

Let’s hope that Donald Trump can also stand up to the Republican Establishment that has been kicking sand in the face of their supporters for years. That shouldn’t be hard for Trump to do given that the Republican elite have already expressed significant contempt for his candidacy. Karl Rove has called Trump a “joke candidate” and George Will called him a “bloviating ignoramus.” [George Will Calls Donald Trump a 'Bloviating Ignoramus', By Jake Tapper, ABC, May 27, 2012] Given that Karl Rove and George Will are both hopeless ignoramuses on immigration that can only mean that Donald Trump is doing something right.

Don’t get me wrong. There are reasons to be skeptical of Donald Trump. He supports the unrestricted use of eminent domain for commercial development and has said that he would appoint outsourcing-pioneer Jack Welch as Treasury Secretary in a Trump Administration. He also supports Mitt Romney’s position that we should “staple a green card to the diploma” of every foreign student in America.

But, reservations aside, Trump’s batting average on the National Question is at least comparable to that of any other contender currently in the race.

If Trump runs, he will (like all presidential contenders) almost certainly lose. But will he have an impact?

He could—if he doesn’t back down on immigration.

Matthew Richer (email him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American Editor of Right NOW magazine.


Print Friendly and PDF