Ohio needs immigration reform — not massive deportations

The 2016 election season has me riveted. I’ll not waiver on my chosen candidate, but the person many are rooting for has charisma and some very positive experience.

Did you hear that 13-year-old girl on America’s Got Talent? She compares her qualification to be a baby-sitter as having been a baby to Donald Trump’s qualification to be president as having been a reality show host. That’s harsh. Besides, Trump has real world experience: he expanded his father’s empire; he’s hired — and of course fired; he knows immigration; and he has international experience.

He says he’s opposed to worker visas like the H-1B, but his companies bring foreign-born workers from overseas — apparently not all of them legal. Immigration has been very good for the Trump family. His products made overseas, and his overseas ventures have contributed to his success.

Wiliness gets you somewhere

A billionaire in the White House? Trump has built his wealth at the very edge of the law. But being wily in business is frankly the only way to get ahead. It’s the American tradition. Do it within the law, and the sky’s the limit, right? Innovation is figuring out how to get work done and get rewarded handsomely for it. He’s all that.

So why am I not a big fan? The man is strong, determined and undeniably brilliant. He is charming and can get a crowd chanting and fist pumping — but his appeals to baser instincts of division, xenophobia and denigration leave me aghast. Can he be trusted to maintain diplomacy? One slight of a foreign leader would have the State Department smoothing ruffled feathers for months.

Our country was founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — and we have taken more than two centuries to work out the details. We rose above the atrocities against the Native Americans, the devastation of the Civil War, Jim Crow laws, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We have one of the most moderate countries on the planet.

But keeping civil takes energy. We work at it daily, from town squares to the United States Congress. What would be undone by a Trump White House?

Reform is needed

Ohio needs immigration reform. Ohio immigrants account for 5 percent of all businesses (myself included), with revenue of $1.3 billion. By 2020, immigrants will be 30 percent of Ohio’s nursing.

In 2011, Ohio enjoyed 12,000 migrant farm workers, whose economic impact created 37,000 jobs. Creating a path to citizenship and expanding the high-skilled visa program would increase the Ohio gross state revenue nearly $750 million.

The Republican candidate could jeopardize the Ohio’s well-being for decades. Barring all immigration, deporting millions of American residents and building walls everywhere would be devastating.

Forcing U.S. companies to halt overseas manufacturing and interning groups of American citizens or overturning their naturalizations would cripple the country for decades.

We have enjoyed the reality show long enough. It is time for Americans who have supported Trump to thank him for his insights and usher him off the set.

Margaret W. Wong, Esq.,is listed in Top Lawyer and Super Lawyer, is rated AV Preeminent, and is an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She also serves as a foundation board member of State University of New York at Buffalo, her alma mater, and is co-chair of the Immigration Law Committee of NAPAPA Bar Association. Margaret is the author of “The Immigrant’s Way,” published in three languages, and has authored numerous articles on immigration law. Visit www.imwong.com