Despite the uproar, Trump did not apologize, and this launched his campaign as a candidate who was not only fighting against political correctness, but also one who understood the problems of open borders. For decades, Republicans politicians had promised action at the southern border. Unfortunately, they never delivered anything but broken promises.
When Republican President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens in 1986, he was promised a serious upgrade in border security and a crackdown on businesses hiring non-citizens. After the amnesty was issued, very little was done to improve border security, so the problem grew.
Today, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States may exceed 30 million. In September of 2018, Yale and MIT released a study that estimated at least 22 million undocumented immigrants were in the country. Previously, most analysts claimed that only 11 million illegal immigrants resided in the United States.
Working class Americans have realized the problem of illegal immigration for decades. These are the people who have lost their jobs or seen their wages reduced. While the business elites from Wall Street pushed unchecked expansion of illegal immigration and open borders, Americans on Main Street wanted our government to address a growing problem.
After decades of meaningless rhetoric, Donald Trump entered the political arena and effectively championed the issue of border security and a wall to win the presidency and shock the so-called experts.
It is an issue tied to the President’s success, but, if he does not deliver on his promise, it will be the anchor that will bring down his campaign and destroy his chances for re-election. His large and loyal base of supporters is demanding that the President stand firm on his pledge to build a border wall despite the government shutdown.
A recent Fox News poll showed that 82% of Americans are not impacted by the government shutdown, so the media focus on the horrible consequences of the President’s position is not ringing true. Predictably, weak Republicans in Congress are starting to cave and demand the President reopen the government and deal with the border wall at a later time. This advice is political suicide for President Trump for he will never recover from breaking his campaign pledge. If anyone doubts this outcome, just look at the 1992 presidential campaign when George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid. A major reason for the defeat was that he reneged on his pledge, “Read my lips, no new taxes!”
A more important reason to stand firm on the wall today is that it will never be built if Trump relents to the pressure. Without a border wall, illegal immigrants will continue to stream into the country and Democrats will turn the red Republican state of Texas blue. This is exactly what happened in California and it is in the process of happening in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. If this Democrat Party aspiration is ever realized, Republicans will have no chance of winning the presidency again and the dreams of a border wall will never be fulfilled.
The stakes in this battle are huge for the future of the Trump presidency, the Republican Party, and especially the country. For all of these reasons, we need to hope and pray Donald Trump does not succumb to the pressure and stands firm.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org