No one seriously disputes that a major part of Trump's campaign appeal has been in his promises to better the lives of middle and lower income American working families who have been "left behind" by globalization and who believe that their jobs and livelihoods are threatened by immigration.

Trump's speeches blaming immigrants, both legal and illegal, for American job losses and lower salaries are typical of his scapegoating tactics: Here is a typical quote, this one from his July 21 acceptance speech for the GOP nomination (pages 16 and 17 - official text from his campaign website)

"Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.

Some commentators have praised Trump for "backing up" his speech with some 242 different footnotes, but let us take a moment to look at the footnotes that he cites for the above quoted statement: (Footnotes 193 to 197):

Footnote 193 is from a publication by a Senate Subcommittee chaired by Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), arguably the most anti-immigrant ideologue in Congress and a strong Trump supporter. So much for any vestige of objectivity about that one.

Footnotes 194 and 195 are from the notoriously biased anti-immigrant organization Center for Immigration Studies - forget about any objectivity there.

Footnote 196 simply cites the "U.S. Census Bureau." It doesn't say what US Census Bureau report it refers to or what is in that report.

Finally, Footnote 197 to Trump's speech refers to a Pew Research report. OK, now finally Trump has given us a footnote from an objective and respected source. But what is the title of the Pew Research report, according to Trump's own footnote? It is:

"Latinos Increasingly Confident in Personal Finances, See Better Economic Times Ahead"

How does that footnote support Trump's gloomy assessment of "higher unemployment and lower wages" among American citizen Latinos?

Few if, any, observers have the slightest doubt that this kind of demagogic anti-immigrant economic populism has played a major role in Trump's winning the Republican nomination.

And Trump hasn't been content with just blaming immigrants for allegedly taking away American jobs, he has also promised action, including the mass expulsion of 12 million mainly Latino and Asian immigrants, and the elimination of two of the most important, if not the two most important, legal immigration programs, including H-1B visas and labor certification green cards, as I have written about in detail, with appropriate references and citations, in previous comments on this site.

In keeping with his economic populism, Trump has also pledged to rein in the power of wealthy groups such as investment bankers and hedge fund managers.

But how much would Trump's economic proposals actually do to help ordinary American working people, as opposed to benefiting the same wealthy moguls whom he has criticized in his campaign speeches?

First, look at the people whom Trump has picked as his economic advisors. They are mainly a group of billionaire investment bankers and hedge fund managers, as explained in a Reuters article called:

Trump's economic advisory group clashes with populist image


As the Reuters article points out, these are the same people whom Trump has been railing against, almost as much as he has been bashing immigrants, in his campaign rhetoric. What an insult to the ordinary working people of America whom Trump professes so much concern for every time he lets loose more invective against minority immigrants.

And what about the substance of Trump's latest tax proposals? Who benefits most? You guessed it - the same wealthy special interests, not average American working people.

See an article by Robert Frank on August 9:

Tax loophole in Trump's plan would create windfall for the rich

and also:

POLITICO, August 9:

Trump's backdoor tax cut for the rich

When it comes to improving the conditions of the ordinary working people of America, including those in the "Rust Belt" states who may be struggling to keep up with changes brought on by the global economy, it seems that Trump is very generous in offering them speeches scapegoating minority immigrants.

But in terms of real economic benefits, it seems that Trump's main interest is in providing tax cuts for his fellow billionaires and other wealthy friends, rather than doing anything concrete to raise wages or the standard of living for average middle class or working class Americans.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green card. Roger's email address is