His Deportation Force is Chilling and Un-American
This past weekend, Donald Trump objected to the media labeling the heart of his immigration policy “mass deportation.” He added, “people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody.”
That statement would be laughable, if the reality wasn’t so chilling.
Trump’s objection notwithstanding, here are the facts about Trump’s immigration promises, none of which have been disavowed:
- Trump has pledged to locate and deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in America on numerous occasions (as recently as in a May interview with NBC News).
- Trump has promised to revoke birthright citizenship to 4.5 American children born of immigrant parents in the United States and to deport these children along with their parents (“we’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go,” Trump told Chuck Todd last August).
- Trump said rounding up and deporting all undocumented immigrants in America would take “18 months to 2 years, if properly handled” and that it could be done through “really good management”.
- Trump promised to create a “Deportation Force” to implement the deportations.
- Trump also has stated that he would model his mass-deportation plan after one of the darkest moments in modern American history – President Eisenhower’s 1954 round-up and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Mexico, an event known by the offensive name of “Operation Wetback.”
All that adds up to, indeed, a comprehensive plan of mass deportation. Trump may not like the term, but he certainly has embraced the policy.
In addition to the profound moral consequences of implementing mass deportation, the center-right American Action Forum released a study outlining the staggering economic consequences of Trump’s mass deportation vision, finding that “[Implementing mass deportation would] reduce real private sector output by 2.9 percent to 4.7 percent or $381.5 billion to $623.2 billion.” And the New York Times analyzed the practical implications of Trump’s proposals, confirming that Trump’s immigration policies are not only inhumane, but would be prohibitively expensive and next-to-impossible to implement.
Of course, these chilling details are in addition to other vile policies proposed by Trump, such as pledges to rescind protections for 700,000 Dreamers on his first day as President; ban all Muslims from admission into the U.S.; build a wall with Mexico (and force Mexico to pay for it by cracking down on remittances); and round up and return home Syrian refugees already resettled in America.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “There’s a reason Donald Trump does not like the term ‘mass deportation.’ It’s opposed by Americans by 4-1 margin, it is un-American and it is impractical. His chilling plan, once consigned to the fever swamps of the white nationalist and anti-immigrant movements, has been laid out repeatedly by the candidate himself. We know where he stands. Trump’s radical and reckless ideas are forcing us all to choose what type of America we aspire to. Do we want to live in his dystopic America, with a Deportation Force descending upon Latino neighborhoods and U.S citizen kids with police-state tactics that undermine our democracy? Or in an America where we value diverse backgrounds and shared ideals, where what defines us is not skin color, place of birth, accent spoken, gender, sexual preference or disability, but our character and contributions? For us, the choice is clear.”