Trump’s Immigration Policy

Trump’s Immigration Policy


Since Trump became the President of the United States, several US Attorneys have re-emphasized his zero-tolerance policy on immigration. They have instructed every federal prosecutor to ensure swift action against every undocumented immigrant living in the United States, especially those who enter by the Southwest border. Such directive came at a time when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol (BP) had increased their efforts to indiscriminately extradite all immigrants residing in the US without legal documents Before such developments. The US already had an established mass deportation policy. What has shifted is the reality that all undocumented immigrants are now subjected to criminal prosecution regardless of whether they are long-time residents or new arrivals (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 1). Additionally, all categories and classes of these immigrants are subject to deportation without exception.

The US has increasingly developed drastic policies, and many states have enacted immigration laws. Such laws ban sanctuary cities, punish local authorities that fail to coordinate with federal immigration agencies, and the local law enforcement to impose immigration laws among others. The enactment of such laws follows the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to conduct immigration and border security operations. The state and federal immigration legal legislation has generated unplanned outcomes. Some of these outcomes include straining law enforcement spending and budgets, overloading federal prisons and local jails and overburdening the court system. The other adverse consequences include the violation of human rights and due process, endangering public safety through the damage of community confidence in law enforcement officers, separating migrant families and worsening the country’s labor shortages particularly in those sectors that rely heavily on immigrant workers (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 1). Several industries such as the construction sector experience adverse labor shortage because of mass deportation policies (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 1-2). Accordingly, this demonstrates the increasing inflexibility of Trump’s immigration policy, which is spread across several sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, Trump argues that the policies will increase domestic security, create jobs for Americans and boost the economy, mass deportation has had additional destructive impacts, which are evident in the manner several American industries are adjusting to their incapacity to attain qualified and cheap labor force. Trump’s immigration policy has led to precarious employment of illegal immigrants while at the same time it has increased the possibility for labor trafficking. Another outcome is the illegitimate labor market reconfiguration that has occurred without essentially eliminating dependence on immigrant workers (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 2). Many firms are subject to ICE raids, inspections, and frequent assessment and review from employment authentication agencies and task forces.  That means employing undocumented workers presents a company with serious liability. For that reason, several firms have stopped hiring workers directly but use labor brokers. Such brokers negotiate single job contracts with various firms across America even though these brokered employees are undocumented.

Given that brokers help undocumented workers to avoid intermediaries of applying for work in American companies as legal residents, they often assume the most significant individual risk. They work under precarious conditions without identification and social security numbers; Therefore, they receive low remunerations and are susceptible to wage theft.  When such workers get injured, old or become sick, they have cast aside without accruing private or government employment benefits. Undocumented workers also experience psychological, physical and verbal abuse and threats from their employers and brokers. Under the current state laws and federal mandates, undocumented workers fear to file complaints about these abuses, exploitation, and theft since it may expose them to immigration authorities. Irrefutably, undocumented workers form a significant and active part of the American workforce (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 3). Before they attain documents that guarantee them jobs, benefits and pay taxes, Trump’s immigration policy has made them a ghost workforce that labor brokers exploit.

Exploitation and forced labor in the American market are becoming more conceivable since a section of the workforce work under constant fear of arrest, detention, and deportation. Because of this, Trump’s immigration policy, severe immigration measures, voracious economic systems, as well as an indifferent political class has driven undocumented workers underground completely who could otherwise make a considerable contribution towards the country’s economy. Because of these issues, undocumented workers have also become vulnerable to labor trafficking. With increased labor in several sectors, human trafficking cases have increased since labor demand has surpassed supply. The present conditions offer some abusive labor brokers and employers increased incentive to coerce undocumented workers to perform some actions against their will or without pay, which keeps them in a state of modern-day slavery (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 3). Given that labor trafficking cases are challenging to identify compared to others such as sex trafficking, it is likely that they will increase under Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration administration.

Despite the efforts of several agencies to curb illegal immigration under Trump’s immigration policy, these harsh policies will not stop the use of undocumented workers. On the contrary, they have driven the labor markets’ reconfiguration. Many American firms not only diffuse but they also hide the work of illegal immigrants (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 3). As such, American firms will continue to benefit from the labor provided by illegal immigrants. Even when these companies are audited, their documents reveal that they do not use illegal immigrant labor. The outcomes of Trump’s immigration policy along with its enforcement are evident. This call for the US Congress to review the immigration laws and policies, identify the limitations and fix the system because of its adverse outcomes in the American labor market and economy. Workers must be allowed to provide their services legally to authorized companies and under reasonable conditions without exploitation and abuse; thus, contributing to the vibrant American economy. A comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform, which legalizes the presence of undocumented workers in a period when American is expanding its economy, would be a suitable alternative (Correa-Cabrera and Tony 4). Trump’s immigration policy seems to be a useful measure for US domestic security, labor markets, and economic development.

Ethical Issues

Trump’s immigration policy is founded on the view that undocumented immigrants take American jobs, contribute to increased gang violence and extremism. Then again, when looking at the adverse implications of the current immigration policies, one may conclude that they create more harm than good. Several stakeholders such as broadcasting corporations and human rights organizations have depicted Trump’s strategy as torturous while others view it as state-sanctioned child abuse. Because of these, these stakeholders have requested the intervention of the global community. During the execution of Trump’s immigration policy, American agencies separated children from their parents and housed them in prison-like, terrible conditions such as cages, storerooms, and tents (Karamouzian 1071). In defense of the policy, the Trump administration argued that the policy was aimed at becoming a deterrent for the refugees’ influx into the US. They view the zero-tolerance immigration policy as a primary strategy for keeping the American borders safe. As such, the agencies engaged in practices that violated the fundamental human rights and due process arguing that people will stop migrating to the US because of family separation.

Conservative supporters of Trump’s immigration policy criticize the current immigration laws since they view that they have loopholes, which incentivize families to migrate together such that in case they are arrested, they can be released together. Meanwhile, such an argument may seem convincing, but it lacks adequate proof or global experience. Additionally, the Trump administration has offered misleading data on the rising number of smugglers with the intent to prop up their cause. In reality, smuggling cannot be considered a driving force behind the increasing levels of asylum seekers. Instead, it is solely a reaction to the rising demand for fleeing violence and unrest. It is clear that there is no clear-cut fix for the prevalent refugee crisis in the American border (Karamouzian 1071). Nevertheless, misrepresenting and misunderstanding the primary political, economic and social causes, which compel refugees to flee their countries is detrimental to arriving at a lasting durable solution to the immigration issue.

The Trump government portrays America as the asylum seekers’ and refugees’ major destination in the world. Such a view represents the United States as the sole country that bears the burden of the international immigrant crisis. On the other hand, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offers contracting statistics. According to UNHCR, third world nations host about 85% of the 68.5 million refugees and people seeking asylum. Despite the steady rise of asylum seekers migrating to the US, the trend is not a new incidence since the citizens of many war-torn nations have been fleeing the conflict, broken economies, poverty, gang violence, and political instability over the last 30 years (Karamouzian 1071). The immigrants have legitimate reasons as to why they need to leave their home nations and seek stability and peace elsewhere.

The Trump administration does not express the slightest sympathy for the immigrant folks and orphaned children. Instead, the American government continues to distort the people’s perception of asylum seekers. The United States president deems the immigrant to be threatening gang members, corrupt crooks, and persons unworthy of human dignity. The liberalistic views about assisting migrants on the grounds of inclusivity, compassion, and morality are vital. Conversely, Trump’s administration does not demonstrate any notable responsibilities for the present situation. One can argue that the current refugee crisis in the US border is America’s making given its economic, army and political action in Central America over the years. The United States has often justified its right to act as a global military authority in Latin America in the past century (Karamouzian 1071). Its failed policy in Latin America, especially on drugs, trade agreements and military interventions has left these countries in political and socioeconomic turmoil.

It is hard to separate the past realities from the present humanitarian crisis of people displacements and movement in Central America. Initially, American trade policies were considered a universal remedy for the refugee crisis, gang violence and illicit drug trafficking in Central America. Meanwhile, such systems led to constructive economic outcomes as they created more harm than good. Besides, they acted as a structural force for displacing people, unemployment and gang violence (Karamouzian 1072). Because of this, it is unethical of Trump administration to absolve the US from its past undertakings that led to the present predicament. It would seem appropriate for the US to take some blame for the current refugee crisis and try to find a suitable solution.

President Trump’s immigration plans are ironic because none of the parties or stakeholders stand to benefit from the American leader’s strategy. In reality, what is happening is a brutal humanitarian succession, which propagates gang violence and instability in the region. For President Trump, the objective is winning regardless of the unethical practices of the immigration and law enforcement officers at the border. Then again, both the asylum seekers and the US administration will lose in this struggle. Deported and rejected refugees and asylum seekers will return to their unstable, threatening and violent countries. The current immigration policy is indeed unethical since it leaves asylum seekers and refugees with limited safer alternatives. Even for those who are accepted to enter the United States, their experience of family separations and extended detentions will increase their need of social services and healthcare both in the short-term and long-term (Karamouzian 1072). The case of the refugee who decided to commit suicide when his family was separated from him highlights how the immigration policies are senseless and unethical. Indeed, the long-term implication of Trump’s immigration policy will be adverse.

Trump’s immigration policy can be deemed unethical since it has failed to consider how family separation will influence both parents and children. The fact is that the policy will eventually result in generational trauma and considerable long-term economic, cultural and social costs (Karamouzian 1072). Ultimately, ignoring the past regime’s efforts to address the humanitarian crisis will delay any suitable alternative to mediate the crisis. The humanitarian in the US border is grounded deeply in the political, economic and social circumstances of Central America, of which the US cannot escape its criminalization of incarceration. Any lasting and sustainable response efforts must be executed considering the crisis’ intricate nature and involve not just the army’s assistance but also more supports in education, development, health sector, job opportunity creation, and anti-corruption efforts.


Several stakeholders are involved in Trump’s immigration policy including President Trump, US Congress, Trump’s administration, supporters, and advisors, US Attorneys, federal prosecutors, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol (BP), and the local police agencies. Other stakeholders include news outlets, civil rights NGOs such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN members states, Central American countries, the International community, civil society representatives and the asylum seekers and refugees. Given that I have no relations with any of these stakeholders, I have no bias.

Alternative Courses of Action

Alternative 1:

Embed immigration policies and policymaking in a superior set of commitments, partnerships, and processes, which address the challenges of asylum seekers and refugees.

Alternative 2:

Reform Trump’s immigration policy to emulate the country’s liberal democratic values and express a comprehensive national identity vision.

Alternative 3:

Trump’s policymakers must publicize the broader national interests that the immigration policies serve. They must assess and reform the current policies given their failure and unethical practices to promote the US interests in the global arena.

How the Alternatives will Affect Stakeholders

Alternative 1: As a nation, the United States bears the primary responsibility for developing the conditions, which allow their citizens to flourish including diminishing conditions such as social upheaval, violence, persecutions, and poverty. Often, such conditions along with human-made and natural disasters topple people’s lives, impel massive migration and place refugees and asylum seekers in circumstances of increased vulnerability. Additionally, it becomes hard for migrants to get a permanent home. In addressing the factors that cause forced migration, the US should place the making of migration policies into a broader set of the rule of law, development, diplomatic, and security processes and partnerships (Kerwin 4). Several stakeholders such as the UN members states and thousands of representatives from the civil society try to examine the way to maximize migration benefits while moderating its inevitable costs and tensions. These stakeholders agree that there is a necessity to support the development and disaster relief initiatives of the emigrant population, leverage the constructive impacts and lessen the migrant remittances costs; thus, realizing the development potential of migration.

Trump’s administration must participate fully in the development and migration dialogue, as well as other similar processes, which treat immigrants as development players and support development as a strategy to preclude the need to migrate. The US must also seek to foster processes such as circular migration, which enhances migration-related development inputs (Kerwin 5). Given that several US economic sectors heavily rely on migrant and undocumented workers, this alternative will create an environment whereby several sectors thrive.

Refuge protection is experiencing a global crisis, which can be attributable to refugee-generating circumstances such as terrorism, armed conflict, gang violence, drug trafficking and a failed rule of law. As such, the overarching necessity in such situations is to curb, mitigate, forego, and anticipate refugee-causing conditions that Trump’s immigration policy cannot attain alone. Many scholars acknowledge migration as a vital anti-poverty and development strategy. Accordingly, Trump’s administration can modestly relax the constraints of the current immigration policy; thus, allowing the migrant population in the United States to develop themselves and benefit their home countries in terms of economic development and poverty reduction (Kerwin 5).  70% of farm workers in the US without H-2A visas are foreign-born of which 70% of this population lacks legal immigration status. The decade long steady decrease in foreign-born immigrants has created a lack of immigrants to replace and supplement the settling and aging immigrant workforce. Such a workforce is also being diminished through the current immigration enforcement. Then again, by reforming the immigration policy to address the immigrant challenges, such a shortage will be resolved allowing farm labor employers to profit immensely.

By committing the immigration policy to processes and partnerships, the US will likely address some of the global risks such as violence, conflict and economic factors, which are strongly related to the increasing involuntary migration. Often, state fragility generates more intentional migrants, unlike conflict and war. It is a consequence of a breakdown in or lack of a social contract between groups and individual citizens that weaken the government contract. As such, in developing and reforming its immigration policies, the US must focus on aspects that address the political, cultural and socioeconomic distress of migrant-sending nations. Additionally, the US should form partnerships and work alongside other industrialized countries to create the foundation for establishing more durable and stronger states (Kerwin 6). American development policies must also be set to contribute to the inclusion and empowerment of citizens in fragile nations; thus, allowing their people to flourish and prevent forced migration.

Alternative 2: From President Trump’s speech and policies, it is clear that the Americans elected a nativist leader who constantly belittles immigrants. He argues that the admittance of refugees and asylum seekers into the country will transform the population composition. There will be more terrorist attacks and atrocities such as 9/11. Trump views immigrants as the cause of economic hardships and recession. They cause Americans residents much struggle and pressure and diminish the prospects of their children. Trump also believes that US political parties lack responsiveness to such concerns. Then again, when looking at these views, it is evident that they do not align with the characterization of American society as an immigrant nation and American ideals (Kerwin 7). Trump does not offer a clear link between the migrants and American economic and social hardships, trade competition and nationalist policies; thus, the need to reform the current immigration policies.

During the presidential elections, Trump garnered massive support from people in culturally and racially isolated communities. Such people have lower social mobility, less dependence on capital income, increased reliance on social security income, and poor health. Understanding and responding to the issues of these Americans can serve as a significant requirement for effective immigration reform. It is clear there are bitter divisions in the United States that have made it increasingly hard to build political consensus and speak the same language about immigration policy reforms. Trump’s immigration policy, ideology, and worldview strongly oppose immigrants despite America’s extraordinary success in integrating millions of asylum seekers and refugees and savings the lives of countless immigrants (Kerwin 7). Trump’s administration, advisors, supporters, and officials reject the paradigm under which the past US refugee programs operated.

Despite the many convincing policy arguments, it is not easy to persuade Trump’s advisors and supporters to accept the refugee resettlement program. Given this constraint, it is essential for advocates for refugees and asylum seekers to focus less on support efforts intended for Trump administration and US Congress. Instead, they should focus more on engaging individuals on personal and cultural information, as well as rethinking the basic narratives that guide their decision making. Accordingly, this will play a significant part in helping the American citizens to develop and shape their self-understanding as a country. Trump’s hostility towards immigrants is evident, and it will not end soon (Kerwin 7). As long as the Americans lack adequate information about the refugee settlement program, American ideals and the implication of national unity, it will be difficult effectively integrate migrants into the American society.

Trump’s policy has created restrictions that have impossible-to-meet enforcement goals, harsher enforcement programs, massive legal immigration cuts and permanent or significant caps in refugee settlement numbers. Notwithstanding this development, it is possible to subdue and defeat nativism and nativism policies. To address the issue of nativism, the allies of strong immigration policies must publicize the cultural, economic and social contributions of groups that nativist policies target. They must also establish an increased understanding of Trump supporters’ concerns, as well as respond to nativism. It is also essential to educate the broader American audience about the moral, financial, social and cultural implications of nativism (Kerwin 8). Ultimately, the United States will attain considerable development and recognition concerning its immigration policies if they are adjusted to foster the American interests and ideals besides being supported by balanced immigration reform legislation.

Alternative 3: The United States’ immigration system and policy should be structured to serve its domestic and global interests. Trump’s immigration policy rejects the entry of asylum seekers and refugees, which shows America’s omission of its roles in the intervention during a humanitarian crisis. Many people are questioning the kind of national interest that Trump’s immigration policy intends to attain or serve. From the administration and enforcement of the plan to the actions of law enforcement agencies, it is clear that the US has violated its duty of ensuring the observance of fundamental human rights and due process. Families comprise the basic building blocks of any society; thus, their integrity must be preserved in every given circumstance. Then again, the separation of families portrays a different picture (Kerwin 9). While the US maintains that immigration admission policies based on privilege, race and national origin offend its civic values and creed, Trump continues to belittle immigrants based on race and ancestry.

The current administration must create a new immigration policy or reform the current one to demonstrate fairness in removal and admission decisions. To this end, the US is recognized globally as a nation that offers sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution. Maintaining such a view will continue to reflect the United States’ tradition, history, as well as its core commitment to dignity, freedom, and liberty. Immigrants symbolize the American tradition of hard work, self-sufficiency, the drive to succeed and the country’s economic competitiveness. Besides, all American residents warrant access to the benefits of an open and free society. That means Trump’s administration should reform its immigration policy to characterize a secure, fair and orderly migration, which sustains the rule of law (Kerwin 9). Despite the widespread view that illegal migration devalues citizenship, threatens national security and challenges its sovereignty, such threats tend to flout American ideals; thus, should be disallowed.

Seek Guidance

I examined several knowledge sources to determine the nature and extent of Trump’s immigration policy. For instance, in the cause of family separation, several studies reveal the adverse impacts of childhood experiences and trauma on their mental and physical health during their lifecycle. Public institutions such as the American Academy of Pediatrics highlight the traumatizing and adverse impact of infantile experiences, as well as stress on the brain architecture of refugee children.

Make a Decision; Act; Monitor the Outcome(s)

The US must prioritize collecting and disseminating the available proof in humanitarian crisis and immigration, as well as its relocation programs and needs. It can apply the information to counter the shifting migration patterns alongside new financial expansions.  Given that immigration plays a central role in strengthening communities, it represents both an overarching and crucial metric for Trump’s immigration policy. From this view, the successful incorporation of legal and undocumented immigrants should be considered national policy. Trump’s immigration policy and agenda must prioritize coordination on shared local, state and federal priorities. Besides recognizing the enforcement obligations of the federal government, the policy must also consider the local communities’ interests such as safety, participation, and wellbeing. Since the government plays a major part in solving the issues arising of the undocumented individuals in the US, it should seek the support of civil society institutions who can then serve as immigration integration mediators. The reform of Trump’s immigration policy must be coupled with well-enforced and strong standards that guarantee the safety and health of refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants. The incumbent administration must seek win-win immigration policies, which serve national interests, while at the same time benefiting migrant-sending nations. That means Trump’s immigration policy reform should be focused on creating a strategy that is consistent and coherent with the needs of immigrants.

Works Cited

Correa-Cabrera, Guadalupe, and Tony, Payan. “Political Turpitude: The Negative Impact of Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policies on Irregular Labor Markets.”. Issue Brief, 2018, pp. 1–5., doi:

Karamouzian, Mohammad. “Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Policy: Would a Political Response to a Humanitarian Crisis Work?” International Journal of Health Policy and Management, vol. 7, no. 11, 2018, pp. 1070–1072., doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2018.80.

Kerwin, Donald. “Moving Beyond Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Trump: Principles, Interests, and Policies to Guide Long-Term Reform of the US Immigration System.” Journal on Migration and Human Security, vol. 5, no. 3, 2017, pp. 1–76., doi:10.14240/jmhs.v5i3.98.