With the stock market at record highs and a tax reform bill set to save them millions (if not billions) of dollars, businesses across the country have several reasons to be happy with Donald Trump’s presidency so far.
However, there is at least one subject on which many businesses disagree with the president: immigration.
In light of the Trump administration’s decision last year to remove protection from nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and its decision this week to removed temporary protected status from some 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants, the business community is speaking out against Trump’s immigration strategy.
As well it should, since Trump’s policies and proposals target some of the very workers businesses across the country rely on. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighed in Wednesday and predicted “a big upheaval” if the “dreamers” and Salvadorans are deported en masse.
“Think about taking 1 million workers out of our [economy] and what that would do to us right now,” Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said after giving his annual “State of American Business” address. “Think about who those people are. They are our neighbors.”
That there are flaws with the U.S. immigration system is without question. And that Trump has seemed to push for a revamp of said system to make it easier to navigate and fairer is a positive.
But Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigrants paints them as largely violent, unsavory characters who contribute nothing to America. That he uses this characterization, which has no statistical backing, as the basis for policies that would tear apart families and upend productive lives is regrettable, to say the least.
It is encouraging to see the business community—even those who are on different ideological sides, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch—repudiate Trump’s immigration policies and the impact they would have on America’s economy and its businesses.