Trump’s surprise victory, at least a surprise to the big business community, has stirred a couple of billionaire business owners to apply pressure for Trump to abandon his campaign promise of mass illegal immigrant deportations.
The movement is being led by an advocacy group backed by Michael Bloomberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the New American Economy, a group whose board includes Bloomberg, Murdoch and leaders of business giant Marriott, has revealed a coalition of business leaders and public officials that oppose an immigration crackdown, many of them Trump supporters, across Utah, California, South Carolina, Florida and Colorado with more coming in Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
New American Economy is a partnership that will enable Mayors and CEOs to demonstrate to policymakers the vital role that immigration plays in the economy by publishing studies, conducting polls, convening forums, and sponsoring public education campaigns.
Their goal? To create a permanent infrastructure that will pressure the new administration and members of Congress in key battlegrounds even before the debate officially begins on Capitol Hill.
According to Robbins, “This election clearly showed that Americans are wildly frustrated with our broken immigration system, but it would be a mistake to equate their desire for someone to secure the border with support for mass deportation or other hardline policies that would both devastate the economy and undermine core American values.”
Business groups are using “experts” to predict negative economic consequences should Trump pursue mass deportation. A study released in February by the right-leaning, American Action Network, found that such a plan could reduce “real GDP by $1 trillion” and cost taxpayers more than $400 billion.
In reality, Trump has already hinted a more gentler approach to massive deportations of all illegals.
Fortune reported that Trump, in a recent Time magazine interview published this week, stated he would “work something out” to help immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children and granted work permits by President Barack Obama. On deportation, Trump told 60 Minutes shortly after the election that he would prioritize deporting between 2 and 3 million “people that are criminal and have criminal records—gang members, drug dealers.”
Trump faces political pressure on both sides because his staunchest supporters will not like a Trump administration that backs off his original hard line to accept big business’ softer approach.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that wants stricter immigration laws, said Donald Trump would, “lose all credibility.”
“Under Donald Trump, this left-right business coalition thing is not going to work,” he said.
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