Many fine points made, Ms. Richardson.
These deserve repeating:
"Moreover, Trump’s “plan” (if you can call it that) won’t address what’s driving people out of Mexico itself, such as historically high rates of murder, extortion, kidnapping, and other crimes tied to drug trafficking."
I think adding a footnote about what NAFTA did to agrarian farmers would better make this case.
"Can we change our trade and drug policies in ways that make life easier in Mexico? Can we change our laws so employers become more apt to provide good jobs to immigrants and non-immigrants alike?"
WE could change anything if our congress, too many courts, and too many politicians were not beholden to Big Money.
When Germany was financially ruined from World War I and its people suffering on multiple levels, one of the psychological tools that buoyed them up was the use of a scapegoat population to serve as projection screen for the alarming levels of justifiable angst.
THAT is the energy that Trump plays with when he turns the Mexican "illegal worker" into the problem (when he's not calling for hell and damnation to rain down on every Islamist):
"This simplistic, right-wing logic turns the victims of social problems into the perpetrators. It seeks to inflict punishment even when it won’t fix anything."
This tried and true protocol works on uneducated, angry people. THAT is Trump's crowd. Many would turn into eager brown-shirts if directed to do so.