Recent television pictures of protesters outside a rally of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Burlingame, CA, showed them carrying the flag of Mexico on sovereign US soil. This reminded me, yet again, of the domestic political time bomb of illegal immigration amidst our Presidential election this coming November.
The unemployment consequences of various trade agreements and Congress' failure to resolve the issue of illegal immigration lay like molten lava beneath the surface of several communities in various States, waiting to ignite and explode into a national political conflagration.
Periodically, when I travel and stay in different places across our country, the issue of "illegal immigration" among people in various places is like listening to the same music, but hearing very different instruments playing the same tune.
Sometimes the issue of "illegal immigration" is described as an "undocumented persons". The impact of shrinking job opportunities in communities abandoned by long time manufacturing or other corporate employers, until Trump's presidential campaign, has been ignored or subordinated by the "Establishment Leadership" of the Democratic and Republican Parties.
High profile criminal acts committed by one or more "illegal immigrants" has only inflamed the national discussion. Our forthcoming presidential elections may be a day of reckoning. There is wide spread belief, principally, within the traditional Republican party voter base that the Democratic party is for amnesty for illegal immigrants as a way of expanding its voter base upon such immigrants.
Less spoken, publicly, are existential pockets of persistent anger and resentment, justified or unjustified, among, segments of unemployed African-Americans, toward "illegal immigrants". Whether factually so or not, there is a belief that such immigrants make it more difficult for African-Americans to find employment in communities abandoned by former manufacturing employers. Unemployment today among African-American men between the ages of 18-35 in several communities is in excess of 50%!
Until author and law Professor Michelle Alexander wrote "The New Jim Crow-Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" little attention was paid to the devastating unequal application of the enforcement of our Federal drug laws upon African-Americans, especially men, in our Criminal Justice System. Why did it take Donald Trump to bring to the forefront of our national political agenda the unresolved issued of illegal immigration?
Whether one agrees or disagrees with some of Trump's bizarre discussions about building "A Wall" on our shared border with Mexico, it baffles me, as someone who touts his business credentials and MBA from the esteemed Wharton School of Business, why he has not considered more creative options to address the potential economic consequences of illegal immigration within neighboring States like California and Arizona?
For example, why doesn't he use available financial accounting and technology tools to determine what is a reasonably accurate estimate of the per capital cost to those States for providing schools, medical facilities, police and fire protection, public transportation, etc., in communities with 25% or more of "illegal immigrants" or" undocumented residents"?
Instead of his proposed "Wall", why not tabulate the total annual per capital costs incurred by California and Arizona in providing such services to such "illegal immigrants" and send the total amount to Mexico for reimbursement? If Mexico doesn't pay initiate court action to place a lien on their capita account and execute a levy on their government bank account for reimbursement?
Whether you like, dislike, agree or disagree with presidential candidate Trump characterization of the problem of "illegal immigration" and his proposed "Wall", Establishment political leaders who dismiss or diminish his public focus on this issue, do so at great potential political risk.
As I said, our government's failure to resolve this issue remains like hot molten lava beneath the surface of our communities, waiting to erupt and ignite a nationwide political firestorm with potentially profound unpredictable presidential and congressional election consequences.
My thoughts here not intended directly or indirectly to endorse Mr. Trump's prescriptions for the addressing Congress' failure to resolve the issue of illegal immigration. This issue has emerged in importance to the continued hotly debated question about a woman's right to choose to have an abortion after the US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade