- - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

President Trump was elected largely on the issue of Hispanic immigration that resonates with a large number of voters who tell pollsters that it’s a major concern, greater than the economy.

When Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, he declared that Hispanics crossing our southern border were rapists, murderers, drug dealers and other assorted criminals.

In his mind, judging by his fiery rhetoric, there wasn’t a single Hispanic migrant entering our country, or seeking to enter, who was a deeply religious, honest, hard working person who just wanted a better life for themselves and their family.

Surveys of Trump voters find that they believe most of them are criminals of one kind or another, that immigrants in general take away jobs held by other Americans, and that they pose a threat our country.

All of this is untrue, as many studies have made clear throughout our long history.

“What seems beyond debate is that many in our country, including the president, seem insufficiently aware of our history as a nation of immigrants,” writes Allan C. Brownfield, a veteran conservative columnist.

“The president’s mother was an immigrant, as was his grandfather, as well as his current wife and one of his former wives,” Mr. Brownfield writes.

More recently, it was reported in newspapers across the country that Mr. Trump’s exclusive golf resorts and hotels have for a long time hired undocumented immigrants.

In other words, “do as I say, but not as I do.”

Actually, immigrants in general have significantly contributed to increased job creation, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Their study “found little to no effect on the wages and employment of native-born workers in the long-term by undocumented immigrants,” according to the unidosus website that tracks immigration trends.

“According to a study of the bipartisan immigration bill passed in the Senate in 2014, provisions in the bill could potentially bring between 336,000 and 470,000 undocumented immigrant entrepreneurs into the formal economy.”

“Given that the average immigrant-owned business hires 11 employees, these businesses would account for between 3.7 million and 5.2 million jobs” in our economy.

As for Mr. Trump’s charges that immigrants will increase crime in our country, “Studies have confirmed that immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans and they are associated with lower crime rates,” the website said.

Bolstering that finding is none other than the Federal Bureau of Prisons who reported this month that 80.6 percent of the prison population was made up of U.S. citizens. Mexican inmates numbered less than 12 percent.

DACA recipients, children who came into the U.S at a very young age, applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, paying $465 for applications into the program to remain here. This means the program hasn’t cost U.S. taxpayers a single cent, the study said.

“Immigration always has been controversial in the U.S. Irish immigrants were scorned as lazy drunks, not to mention Roman Catholics,” writes Daniel Griswold, the director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the conservative Cato Institute.

“At the turn of the century a wave of ’new immigrants’ — Poles, Italians, Russian Jews — were believed to be too different ever to assimilate into American life. Today the same fears are raised about immigrants from Latin America and Asia, but current critics of immigration are as wrong as their counterparts were in previous eras,” he writes.

Hispanic immigrants are instinctively entrepreneurial, forming their own businesses and hiring the unemployed, enriching our culture, and reaching out to new markets with their businesses.

They are also very hard working people, family-oriented and deeply religious. Employers have told me they “come to work early and stay late.”

Ronald Reagan told us that people may emigrate to France, but that does not make them French. They may go to Germany, though that won’t make them German. But they can come to America and become Americans.

• Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.

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