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Morally Abhorrent, Economically Devastating, and Politically Disastrous – Calling Out Trump’s Mass-Deportation Vision

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Washington, DC — The most consequential immigration storyline this week is not the Senate’s border vote and accompanying skirmish over political positioning. Instead, it’s the growing attention highlighting the serious plans from Donald Trump and allies to round up, detain, and deport millions of long-settled immigrants and rip apart American families, communities, and the economy in the process. In a must-read Philadelphia Inquirer column, “America needs to talk about how Trump’s deportation plan is really dictatorship,” Will Bunch notes, “Team Trump isn’t kidding about deporting millions if the ex-POTUS returns in 2025. It would destroy America, morally and economically.”

According to Douglas Rivlin, Sr. Communications Director of America’s Voice: 

“The cornerstone of Donald Trump’s second term vision is his authoritarian plan for mass-deportation. It would be morally abhorrent, economically devastating, and politically disastrous for his campaign and his party. The more Americans hear about the scope, cost and economic calamity Republicans have planned, the more likely Americans will reject this potentially massive self-inflicted wound. Anyone supporting Trump has to own the potential devastation that Trump and Stephen Miller are pledging to enact with their undemocratic and violent plans to round up, detain and deport millions.  It should be a central focus of every campaign and any conversation about immigration this year. The prospect of hostile troops from red states rolling down the boulevards of blue cities, suburbs and rural areas to forcibly remove millions of our neighbors, friends, teachers and coworkers ought to be the topic of every political conversation and a persistent question posed to every candidate for every office.”

Read Will Bunch’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, “America needs to talk about how Trump’s deportation plan is really dictatorship,” and find key excerpts below:

“Imagine this: It’s exactly one year from today, Memorial Day weekend, 2025. It’s 94 degrees in the shade, but the fact that the world keeps shattering monthly temperature records isn’t even making the news — and that’s not what has Philadelphians so hot and bothered. It’s been about two months since Donald Trump, the 47th president of the United States, announced Operation Purify America in an Oval Office address, and about a week since a stunned Philadelphia watched an endless convoy of militarized vehicles and federalized troops from the Texas and South Dakota National Guards roll up I-95.

After a week of setting up a base camp at the Air National Guard base in Horsham, the actual operation began at midnight the day before, as a parade of Humvees and armored personal carriers cornered off a wide area in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park section and supported federal immigration agents who went door-to-door in the predawn chaos, bursting into homes and asking Latino residents for their papers. Journalists who’d been kept blocks away by the troops now search for anyone who could confirm the rumors of screaming, scuffling, and dozens of arrests.

…This might sound like a page from the script of Alex Garland’s next near-future dystopian movie, but it’s actually a realistic preview of the America Trump himself, his cartoonishly sinister immigration guru Stephen Miller, and the right-wing functionaries crafting the 900-page blueprint for a Trump 47 presidency called Project 2025 are fervently wishing for. 

…Yet, with the election just over five months away, too many voters aren’t listening to a plan that would fundamentally change America … What’s changed in 2024? Everything. Despite the Hannibal Lecter-ized outward chaos of Trump’s rallies, behind the scenes, Team Trump is focused and determined not only to name the most rabid Trump loyalists to key political posts but also to dramatically strip civil service protections and remove recalcitrant midlevel government employees. And this time around, Republicans in Congress are going to be on board with whatever Trump wants.

…The remarkable logistics and the massive troop deployments aren’t the only aspects of Trump’s deportation scheme that voters aren’t paying attention to. Remember how March’s Baltimore bridge disaster accidentally revealed how essential recent immigrants, including the undocumented, have become to bedrock American industries like construction? Experts say abruptly removing millions of workers from the U.S. economy could send it into a tailspin.

…there are so many unanswered questions. What would happen to the estimated 4.4 million children who were born here as U.S. citizens with at least one undocumented parent? How long would it take for heavily armed Insurrection Act troops to turn their firepower against the large number of Americans who would inevitably take to the streets in protest? Is a country where our neighbors and coworkers fear a knock on the door every night, while the world gawks at pictures of barbed-wire detention camps that look like colorized photos from the 1940s, really the future we want?

…Folks, he is screaming his plan out loud at his rallies! The Trump deportation scheme is really Trump’s blueprint for dictatorship. If voters understood this reality, perhaps even the voters who strongly favor a reduction in immigration would oppose this militaristic nightmare. We can stop this at the ballot box in November, long before Texas National Guard tanks backing up the Schuylkill Expressway become the lead traffic report on KYW.”

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