"You don't have a heart." "You are a racist." Those are common phrases hurled not just at Donald Trump but also at conservative, Hispanic Republicans like myself who believe a country with no borders is no country at all.
I am not anti-immigrant, but I am against illegal immigration. Both sides of my family entered the country lawfully through the Mexican border and Ellis Island, which as the process goes was much easier than if they had tried to legally dwell in most other countries. It would probably shock many U.S. citizens to know Mexican immigration laws are significantly stricter than those of the United States.
It would also shock many U.S. citizens to know that according to a 2011 Treasury report, "Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits" — up from just $924 million in 2005. Think tanks like The Heritage Foundation have demonstrated an alarming net fiscal deficit from the average undocumented household — which receives just over $14,000 net tax dollars annually in the form of benefits and services rendered after calculating the differing taxes they also pay.
Couple that with data from the Center for Immigration Studies, which estimates that people in the country illegally receive over $100 billion annually from U.S. taxpayers. When you realize the dollar values at issue, it is staggering. When you consider the homeless veterans, our national debt, and the rate at which Social Security is going broke, it's angering that so many resources are being diverted to people living here without permission.
The past few weeks have been an epic rollercoaster ride in politics. First, during the taping of a town hall with Sean Hannity in Austin a few weeks ago, Trump made his much-quoted remarks about a "softening" of his immigration policy. I had a great seat at the event, and immediately after I reached out to the campaign to advise them that if this new path was adopted it would ensure a loss in November.
Soon after the town hall, moderate, pro-amnesty Republicans began to gloat that Trump was about to listen to the Republican National Committee and make the same mistakes that previous presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain did.
Then, the next week, Trump gave his immigration speech. As details of his plan emerged, I knew that his presidency would not be for sale and wouldn't be hijacked or held for ransom by outside forces. Trump's commitment to law and order came through loud and clear, a strong message that will impact the actions of people no matter what side of the border they're on — whether they're in Texas, Mexico or Syria.
The United States must have a president that will stand toe to toe with leaders on the world stage and not simply grovel in their presence.
Trump isn't perfect, and accountability will be necessary to ensure he stays true to his word, but with his immigration speech showing that he won't be "softening" his position, it could be the launching point for the biggest political comeback speech of modern times.
Trump must now find a way to surround himself with those committed to his immigration policies to ensure proper implementation. To those who have left Trump or called him out for not embracing amnesty, I say you can't be pro-property rights and pro-amnesty.
If he stays tough on immigration and doesn't take the path of least resistance, Trump is deserving of my vote — and that of every other red, white and blue constitutional conservative from sea to shining sea.