However, a few other points. Trump shifted the focus of the speech from THE WALL and what to do with current illegal immigrants to look instead at broader issues, including what can be done to improve interior enforcement and how the legal immigration system should be reformed.
Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, it's clear that our public discussion of immigration needs to get out of a fixation on a debate over "amnesty" into a multidimensional consideration of national immigration policy. "What should we do with illegal immigrants?" cannot be the only point of discussion for immigration. We also need to address important questions such as,
- How can we help recent immigrants achieve upward mobility and integrate into American society?
- How can our immigration system encourage opportunity for both natives and the foreign-born?
- How can we reform our legal immigration system so that it strengthens families, communities, and the economy?
For too long, media narratives of immigration (as with other issues) have been held captive by hazy nostalgia and identity politics. We need to break those chains in order to face the challenges of the present and better secure the blessings of liberty and justice.