By STAFF WRITER AUGUST 20, 2015
Celebrity billionaire and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, continues to lead Republican primary polls in the race for the White House. The real estate mogul from New York, whose remarks about illegal immigrants have caused much controversy, has managed to stay atop in the Republican camp and is even now stacking up well against Hillary Clinton in the latest CNN national poll.
Still, many don’t take the Republican forerunner as a serious political contender seeing his unconventional approach. There are also others who criticize him for lacking specifics to address the very issues he raises.
But Mr. Trump released his immigration plan this past weekend — the first-ever platform of his campaign since he announced his candidacy in mid June. His 14-point plan on immigration — an issue he made a center stage of his presidential race — mentions three core principles, building a wall at the Mexican border, enforcing laws, and focusing on job creation.
The plan outlines measures the United States shall take to cover for the cost of the wall should Mexico refuse to pay. It aims to raise funds by increasing visa fees for Mexican nationals and impounding all remittance payments derived from illegal wages among other measures.
Mr. Trump aims to create jobs for inner-city youth by limiting J-1 visas to foreign youth workers. He also proposes limits on H-1B worker visa permits, asylum programs and a temporary pause on issuing new green cards to enhance job availability for unemployed domestic workers.
Ending birth right citizenship, penalties for overstaying visas, increasing number of immigration officers, and deporting criminal aliens are some of the key points in the plan.
The proposals were welcomed by Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who chairs the Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. He praised Trump’s ideas saying, “This is exactly the plan America needs”.
Mr. Trump continues to dominate all polls, leading by significant margins. The latest poll by Fox News put his support at 25% while the next person in line is the retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson at 12%.
Observers attribute his increasing popularity to voters’ frustration with politicians, as well as his celebrity status and unapologetic attitude. However, with influential senators like Senator Sessions backing his immigration plan, Mr. Trump may start to be taken more seriously by the GOP leadership whom he often accused for not treating him fairly like other candidates.