I’m proud of my Colombian heritage, but I’m even more proud of the great life I’ve been able to build for myself here in the United States.
Independence Day is a time to reflect on the founding values that made America the most exceptional country in the history of the world — a country where an immigrant like me is free to achieve her full potential thanks to the blessings of liberty passed down to all of us by previous generations of patriots.
I count myself as a diehard supporter of Donald J. Trump because his America First agenda is based on the same ideals that have historically made this country so great — individual liberty, personal responsibility, and unflinching optimism.
President Trump’s pro-business policies and regulation cuts, for instance, have greatly strengthened Arizona’s economy, generating growth for small businesses, rapid job creation, and steadily rising standards of living for workers on every rung of the income ladder. In just the first three years of the Trump presidency, Arizona created nearly 300,000 new jobs, reducing the state unemployment rate by more than half of a percentage point.
The President’s landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, meanwhile, is saving Arizonans an average of nearly $1,400 per year on their federal income taxes, allowing the typical family of four to enjoy about $30,000 in additional take-home pay over the course of a decade.
Increased business and consumer confidence, buoyed by smarter federal regulatory policy and reduced federal tax burdens, created a positive feedback loop of prosperity prior to the temporary economic setback caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The same policies will enable us to emerge from the coronavirus downturn just as vigorously, smashing all-time growth records as we embark on a “V-shaped” economic recovery.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Arizona’s unemployment rate was hovering at a comfortable 4.5 percent, and our economy was growing faster than it had in over a decade. Thanks to the elimination of punitive regulations, Arizona utility companies such as Southwest Gas passed on hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to ratepayers, lowering utility bills for Arizona’s working families.
This historic level of economic prosperity benefited all Arizonans, but it was particularly helpful for those who were most in need of new opportunities after suffering through a whole decade of hardship during the Great Recession and the pathetic Obama-Biden “recovery” that followed. First-generation immigrants like me come to this country because of the unparalleled degree of freedom and opportunity it has historically offered. That perception took a hit during the last decade, but President Trump put the American Dream back within reach of every American.
As residents of a border state, of course, Arizonans know that just as immigration can be a tremendous force for good in our society when it’s wisely regulated, the unrestricted illegal immigration that many contemporary Democrats support has exactly the opposite effect, undermining the American Dream for native-born citizens and legal immigrants alike.
Instead of destructive open-borders policies, President Trump is expanding economic opportunity for all Americans by supplementing his pro-growth domestic policies with genuinely fair trade arrangements that allow American workers and businesses to compete on a level playing field.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which just recently took effect, will be critical to fueling Arizona’s economic growth long into the future. Arizona exported nearly $10 billion worth of goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, supporting an estimated 228,000 jobs in the state, including about 19,000 manufacturing jobs. The reduced trade barriers the Trump administration secured as part of the USMCA will allow us to increase our exports substantially, creating exciting new opportunities for Arizona workers and creating even better conditions for growth than we enjoyed prior to the pandemic.
President Trump is an America First leader. As a legal immigrant who has been both inspired and empowered by this country’s founding values, that’s exactly the attitude I like to see in my President.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Monica Yelin is a lifelong conservative and passionate supporter of the Republican Platform. Eager to explore new opportunities, Monica immigrated to the United States in 1998 with a J-1 Work Visa, coupled with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and unbridled ambition. Monica is an Ad