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Government/Politics

GOP-Dem Analysts Agree: Trump Impact On Texas Could Be 'Dramatic'

DonaldTrump_2011.jpg
Gage Skidmore
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5440392565
Donald Trump at CPAC 2011

During his presidential campaign Donald Trump promised to kill a number of initiatives President Obama has put into place.  TPR’s Shelley Kofler talked with two political consultants – a Democrat and a Republican – about how Texas might be affected if President Trump follows through.  They don’t always agree on whether Texas would be better off or worse.  But they do agree the impact on our state could be significant. 

DACA AND DREAMERS

Donald Trump has said as president he’ll get rid of an Obama program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which has placed on hold the deportation of millions of immigrants who came to the United States as children. 

Texas is home to many of these so-called Dreamers who have lived here most of their lives. Court challenges have thrown the DACA program into limbo, giving the next president an opportunity to act.

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Credit Shelley Kofler / Texas Public Radio
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Texas Public Radio
Democratic Consultant Christian Archer and Republican Consultant Kelton Morgan agree that Trump policies could have a significant impact on Texas.

“I think one of the first things he’s going to do is remove President Obama’s executive order for Dreamers,” said Democratic Consultant Christian Archer during a discussion in the Texas Public Radio studios.

Listen to the audio posted above

“I think that will be red meat to his base,” Archer said, adding that if Trump cancels the DACA program it would have a dramatic effect on Texas and border states where a majority of residents in many communities are Hispanic.

Republican Consultant Kelton Morgan noted that not everyone in his GOP Party agrees with Trump’s call for mass deportation of illegal immigrants during his campaign.  

“You do have people in Texas, people who do want a workable border that allows workers to come back and forth,” said Morgan.  “I think you are going to get a lot of people from Texas with input into immigration policy as it takes shape in this administration,” he said.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS

Trump has also promised to get rid of regulations on businesses that President Obama has implemented. That might very well include relaxing air quality regulations opposed by Texas’ oil and gas industry. 

Morgan believes the Trump administration will have a “pro-producer energy policy” that could reverse some of the air quality restrictions industry is fighting. 

Archer sees it differently, saying a retreat on clean air and clean water policies could reverse progress in addressing climate change emissions.

“It will be harmful to Texans,” said Archer.

NAFTA

Also on Trump’s hit list is NAFTA- the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement which has eliminated tariffs and other trade barriers between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Trump claims NAFTA has resulted in a loss of U.S. factory jobs, so he’s vowed to renegotiate or scrap NAFTA which as President he can do.

“I hope it stays,” said Morgan.  “”If we just unilaterally get out of the agreement it’s going to have a dramatic impact on Texas.”

Archer agrees.

“I think (eliminating NAFTA) it’s got a hugely detrimental effect on all the commerce that’s happening along our borders.  We lose business.  We lose jobs.”

No one knows for sure if or how President Trump will follow through on these campaign promises and others.  But Texans –Democrat and Republican- are bracing for change.

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