A week ago, this nation elected Donald Trump as the president of the United States. As understood by Americans both celebrating and protesting, the new president-elect will without doubt change a majority of policies established by the Obama Administration over the past eight years. Donald Trump is quite well known for his declaration to construct a wall between the United States and Mexico, his stance on Muslim immigration, and his abrasive personality with his opponents. All these will translate to a foreign policy that will be a shock to those accustomed to eight years of Obama.
In Trump’s victory speech, he promised to “get along with all other nations willing to get along with us.” This may seem like a stark contrast to a campaign and individual known for rubbing a majority of Americans the wrong way. However, for the better of our nation, I hope that Trump keeps this promise and establishes a foreign policy that is respected by our neighboring nations.
In Trump’s Contract with America, he states that he will build a wall to prevent illegal immigration, rebuild the military and cybersecurity, renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA, and deport 2 million illegal immigrants while canceling funding to sanctuary cities. If the wall is accomplished, it will be the only continuous wall to keep people out of a nation, rather than within the walls. The wall especially has received a lot of media attention, especially now that Rudy Giuliani has suggested that Trump may be able to construct it with executive power alone. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are not fully in support of a complete wall, and as such, Trump may need to explore executive authority to honor his campaign promise. The American people elected someone who they thought could get the job done, and if Trump is looking at another 4 years, he must make significant progress on this particular promise.
Rebuilding the military and increased cybersecurity are definite needs in the nation. Despite the amount that America spends on the military, our national defense is and has been weakening under the Obama administration. As each year passed, Obama was no closer to funding new research and retaining military strength than he was at balancing the budget. As a result, Trump’s promise to rebuild the military may be needed now more than ever, as foreign powers start to doubt the security of the United States and plan attacks against it. Although his plans for cyber security are not very specific, there may be hope that increased research in both the military and a revitalized economy will produce sufficient amounts of American computer programmers willing to work to secure U.S. interests.
Additionally, Trump promises to legally renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico has already stated that it will discuss but not renegotiate NAFTA, which cannot be surprising. Withdrawal from the agreement may re-impose tariffs from Mexican and Canadian products, but may throw international markets into turmoil. Already with Trump presidency becoming a reality, the international markets were unpredictable and many of them came to a record low. Depending on how nations like China are affected by a Trump presidency, withdrawal from agreements may result in China calling our debt, which would severely decimate the American economy. In attempting to increase the nation’s security, Trump very well may doom it to the national debt.
Finally, Trump promises to end funding to sanctuary cities and deport criminal illegal immigrants. While the end of federal funding to sanctuary cities is cause for celebration, the deportation of only criminal illegal immigrants is difficult to perform without affecting non-violent offenders. Typically, the United States deported all illegal immigrants indiscriminately, which allowed the process to proceed with less difficulty. Trump’s proposal to only deport criminals may result in the same outcome, where the criminals can easily hide behind other illegal immigrants. Instead, the president-elect needs to choose between mass deportation or immigration reform. Senator Rubio’s (R-FL) idea of implementing eVerify and requiring employers to verify the status of their employees seems more appropriate to the situation at hand. Instead of directly deporting illegal immigrants, which is more expensive, we need to focus on immigration reform through the removal of incentives to illegally come here, the promotion of legal immigration, and overall the creation of an easier legal immigration process. Once the legal process is easier, it will become more effective in preventing security issues involved with criminal illegal immigrants.
Trump’s promises are idealistic and good on the cover of the novel, but the middle of the book may produce more danger than America is prepared for. I sincerely hope Trump surrounds himself with wisdom and intelligence, and is willing to listen to his advisers and work with our newly elected Republican controlled Congress as he starts to make the toughest decisions for the nation.
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