Washington, DC —The three leading Republican presidential contenders are openly calling for the mass- purge of all undocumented immigrants from the country – including the population of long-settled immigrants who are living, contributing and raising families in the U.S.. While we have documented the Republican Party’s ongoing descent into extremism on immigration, the sweeping nature and potential damage of the leading candidates’ roundup, camps, deportation and mass-purge agenda remains underappreciated. Just last night, for example:
- Donald Trump: at a Fox News town hall last night Trump reiterated his pledge, “We are going to have the largest deportation effort in the history of the country.” This builds on previous campaign messaging about camps, round ups and deploying red state national guard and law enforcement to enforce the purge in other jurisdictions.
- Nikki Haley: at the DeSantis-Haley debate, she said: “You have to deport them. And the reason you have to deport them is they are cutting the line.” It’s a reminder that depictions of Haley as a “moderate” alternative don’t hold up to scrutiny.
- Ron DeSantis: At the same CNN debate, DeSantis said, “They all have to go back. We have to enforce the rule of law in this country,” echoing his pledge from a recent Des Moines Register op-ed that noted, “we will deport the millions of migrants released into every corner of this nation by empowering our ICE agents, streamlining the court process, and adamantly insisting our existing immigration laws are followed.”
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The leading candidates in the GOP – Trump, DeSantis and Haley – are all calling for the purge of 11 million long-settled undocumented immigrants from America. This is chilling to contemplate. The sheer cost – not just in dollars but in the moral fabric of the nation – is too great to comprehend.
What’s at stake does not just affect our immigrant neighbors. What these candidates are describing would entail law enforcement going through American communities and checking everyone’s citizenship deporting or detaining millions, destroying families, seizing the property or suddenly leaving vacant millions of houses and apartments, a massive reduction in small businesses as owners or employees were removed and whole industries from hospitality and restaurants to health care and elder care to our domestic agricultural industry wiped away. History shows us that millions of American citizens who look like or live with immigrants would be rounded up as well.
The mass purge of immigrants would challenge the very definition of what it means to be an American. The claim by Republican candidates that our blood is being poisoned by immigrants is a sign of how divorced from reality their approach to our multi-racial democracy has become.
Notably, this cruel and devastating policy scheme remains deeply unpopular with the American people. While the public is concerned over the right policies to maintain an orderly border and addressing recent migrants and asylum seekers, there remains broad and durable majority support for legalizing the population of long-settled undocumented immigrants.”