The United States of America is on the precipice of a massive demographic change, should either Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz or Donald Trump become president. Illegal immigration and the multi-faceted magnet that continues to attract people to cross illegally into the United States will be dramatically decreased.
Their first priority would be to secure the border. The United States Border Patrols’ philosophy will revert back to one from a decade or two ago: Apprehend and remove anyone crossing into the United States illegally—period. Agents will no longer be told to look the other way when a group of people cross illegally. The wave of women and children from Central America that come to the border with the knowledge that they won’t be immediately deported and likely able to remain here, will almost immediately disappear.
Presidential Candidates Trump and Cruz have repeatedly stated that amnesty will not be granted nor will the 11 million plus aliens be allowed to remain. Most believe mass deportation would be impossible and heart-wrenching. But should either of these men become president, the change in administration philosophy will cause a substantial percentage of the illegal immigration population to depart the United States without any enforcement efforts utilized. Over the course of the presidential term, millions of people living illegally within the United States will voluntarily leave.
A change to a more proactive enforcement policy will have many positive changes including but not limited to:
Drug Trafficking Pipeline Devastated
Much of Eastern Washington has received a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation by the U.S. Government. The majority of the narcotics brought into the United States is controlled by immigrants, many of whom are here illegally from Mexico. The ruthless and deadly cartels from Mexico have their tentacles firmly entrenched in the trafficking and distribution of everything from Methamphetamines to Heroin. Those involved in the trade are able to hide in plain sight among the huge illegal immigrant population pockets already established here.
An increased enforcement philosophy towards illegal immigration, especially towards those involved in criminal activities, will clog the drug-flow arteries currently in use.
Decreased Gang Membership
Many violent gang members, including those of the notorious MS-13, are in the United States illegally, residing within the illegal alien population who the current administration wishes to ignore. A proactive enforcement policy will result in many of these gang members being arrested and deported and many more leaving with their families.
Decreased Welfare and Medicaid Enrollment
Previous studies have shown that up to 57 percent of Mexican immigrants use at least one form of public assistance while one-third of all immigrant families do so. This is much higher than the 23 percent of families headed by citizens that use assistance. Overwhelmed hospitals and schools in high illegal immigrant areas, as well as governmental budgets will receive some relief.
Increased Employment Opportunities and Wages
Illegal immigration and the presence of millions of additional people seeking entry-level jobs saturates a work environment and depresses wages and general employment opportunities for those seeking similar jobs. The removal of aliens illegally within the United States and decreased illegal immigration will increase job opportunities for entry-level workers and inflate wages for those workers. The Black American Leadership Alliance opined that amnesty would adversely affect black workers most.
Various negative effects will be touted by those in opposition to enforcement.
Crops Left Unharvested:
Eastern Washington, like many other parts of the United States, relies heavily on immigrants to harvest their crops. Farmers will immediately complain that their crops will go unharvested because of a lack of labor which will substantially affect local economies. The actual outcome for farmers in a reduced-illegal-immigration demographic is murky. Farmers and their advocates complained many times previously when enforcement efforts were increased yet the overall impact was negligible.
Local Economies Devastated:
Many areas of Eastern Washington, just like many areas across the United States, have had businesses created that rely heavily on immigrants. The departure of a substantial portion of the illegal immigration population will adversely affect these businesses. Just like businesses that have had to change with increased immigration populations across the country, they will have to adjust for a decreased level of immigration.
Families Torn Apart
The change in policy towards illegal immigration will undoubtedly cause some families to be separated. Children who were brought here illegally by their parents may be given consideration for legalization, as would certain other aliens falling within special categories.
The negative and positive aspects of a proactive shift in the enforcement policy of a Trump or Cruz presidency can be estimated but many factors, many of which are political, will play into the actual changes that occur.