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Immigration Reform During Donald Trump’s Presidency

Updated January 27, 2021
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Immigration Reform During Donald Trump’s Presidency essay

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Since the 2016 presidential election resulted in Donald Trump’s presidency, the world has changed. From international politics to domestic consumerism, America’s current president has impacted the ways populations behave in response to political issues, and Hispanics are no different.

Perhaps the most prominent issue for the Hispanic population in the United States, a population of 58.9 million people (United States Census Bureau, 2017), is that of immigration reform. Immigration reform is a term that references the changing or restructuring of a country’s immigration policy. President Trump’s plan includes full border security that could make connections back to countries south of the border harder to access, and changes to the legal immigration system via the RAISE Act that would half the amount of green cards given to applicants making it even harder for undocumented Hispanic immigrants to become legal. Also, his administration is pushing for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants, including Hispanics, and ICE raids are being conducted that are arresting people in their homes and at their places of work. Facing all of these threats, millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants deal with daily fears of losing their families, jobs, and a chance at legal status, and it’s no wonder this population has scaled back their spending. Legal Hispanics are also facing increased instances of public discrimination as well, which could include shopping locations.

In reference, the conglomeration of all of these complex issues affecting the Hispanic population in the United States has negatively influenced Hispanic/Latino spending and it’s only continuing. Target CEO Brian Cornell even specifically noted that the Hispanic shopper is “shopping much less”, “going out less often”, and “staying home”. Dallas Fed Chief Robert Kaplan echoed these statements as well. A direct quote from a Reuters article from Richa Naidu states:

“Many U.S. Hispanics are venturing out only to buy essential goods and are cutting back on discretionary spending, worried about possible harassment by immigration or law enforcement officials since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to community groups, research firms, and retailers.”

In other words: the immigration policies President Trump is pushing to help the American economy could be hurting it. Analysts for NPD Group even observed an eight percent decrease in Hispanic consumer’s total spending. Additionally, these harsh Trump administration policies are estimated to reduce economic output by 100 billion dollars by 2021 from losses in productivity, workforce limitations, and consumption.

Overall, President Trump’s policies are not just hurting Hispanic consumers, but retailers AND the entire American economy. From workforce shortages to reduced profit margins, the reduced buying power of this enormous market is hurting the United States. Hispanics are shopping less, saving more, and are more worried than ever about their personal security at home, at work, and in public–and at the end of the day, that means less consumerism too.

Works Cited

  1. Congress.gov. (2017, February 13). S.354 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): RAISE Act. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/354
  2. Corasaniti, N. (2016, August 31). A Look at Trump’s Immigration Plan, Then and Now. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/31/us/politics/donald-trump-immigration-changes.html
  3. Davidson, P. (2017, May 31). Fed’s Kaplan: Immigration crackdown hurting economy. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/31/feds-kaplan-immigration-crackdown-hurting-economy/102345852/
  4. Franck, T. W. (2017, August 23). Hispanic consumers spending less because of lingering fears of Trump’s immigration policy, Jefferies says. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/research-finds-trump-immigration-policy-likely-hurting-hispanic-spending.html
  5. Gass, N. (2015, August 17). Trump’s immigration plan: Mass deportation. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/donald-trump-immigration-plan-121420
  6. Green, D. (2017, July 19). Retail experts say Hispanics aren’t shopping because of Trump. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/hispanic-spending-down-in-the-trump-era-2017-7
  7. Hauslohner, A. (2019, August 7). ICE agents raid Miss. work sites, arrest 680 people in largest single-state immigration enforcement action in U.S. history. Retrieved from https://beta.washingtonpost.com/immigration/ice-agents-raid-miss-work-sites-arrest-680-people-in-largest-single-state-immigration-enforcement-action-in-us-history/2019/08/07/801d5cfe-b94e-11e9-b3b4-2bb69e8c4e39_story.html?noredirect=on
  8. Horowitz, J. M., Brown, A., & Cox, K. (2019, August 23). Views on Race in America 2019. Retrieved from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/04/09/race-in-america-2019/
    Naidu, R. (2017, August 24). U.S. retailers hit as immigration worries weigh on Hispanic spending. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-retail-hispanic-idUSKCN1B417J
  9. Townsend, M., & Soper, S. (2017, July 18). Target CEO Warns That Hispanics May Be Shopping Less. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-18/target-s-chief-sounds-alarm-on-pullback-by-hispanic-shoppers
  10. United States Census Bureau. (2017). ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
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