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Trump Affirms Policy Details For “Rounding Up” Immigrants

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Says Deportation Of 11 Million Will Take 18-24 Months

In a call last night with supporters,  GOP frontrunner Donald Trump revealed new details about his plan to deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants and an additional 4.5 million American citizens born to immigrant parents. In the call, Trump said that “with good management” the process should “take 18 months to two years if properly handled.”

Trump made the comments in response to a question about his plans to implement his promise of mass deportation: “In your illegal immigrant planning, what do you see as an appropriate or approximate time for rounding up and processing the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants in our country. One year, five years, ten years. Have  you thought about a process in order to do this?”

Despite reports that Trump’s plan could cost up to $166 billion and that completely removing 11 million people from the country is “impossible” on any timeline, Trump simply replied, “Yeah, it’s called really good management.”  He later got more specific, “I think it’s a process that can take 18 months to two years if properly handled.”

With that, Trump provided a time frame for his unprecedented plans to expel 11 million people from the United States. It’s almost incomprehensible to imagine what those 18 – 24 months for our nation and anyone who appears to be an immigrant. Trump’s “really good management” would create an extremely hostile environment on a scale unseen before in this country. In essence, he would need to create a police state with vigilantes and informants constantly targeting and checking papers of anyone they deemed to be an immigrant.

We have a presidential candidate who, instead of discounting the concept of “rounding up” millions of people, embraces it with a timeframe to accomplish that goal.  Anyone in the media who talks to Trump needs to dig deeper into this heinous scheme. We need details on the management plan and what exactly it would entail in terms of costs, logistics, manpower, human suffering and, more importantly, what it would do to the very essence of this country. The images Trump evokes of buses and trains being loaded with families should elicit outrage from anyone with a shred of decency.

In a recent piece in Al Jazeera America,  Malcolm Harris paints a provocative picture of what Trump’s plan would mean in practice:

“First of all, there’s the scale. Deporting 11 million people would be a population transfer so large it only has a couple historical precedents, and one of them is Adolf Hitler’s. To extract that many people from their communities would require a much larger and more determined effort that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is capable of at present.  To this end, Trump proposes tripling the number of ICE officers, specifically geared to increase deportations. In a country with volunteer border patrols and lasting unemployment, I don’t think President Trump would have a problem recruiting.

Sending an amped-up ICE on a mass-deportation mission wouldn’t just be an assault on undocumented people and their families, it would be an attack on American cities, where more than 90 percent of them live. . .

On the other hand, ICE agents might not be the worst thing we’d have to fear. In a report for the New Yorker, Evan Osnos looked at how popular Trump is with white nationalists and neo-Nazis. They have heard his anti-immigrant dog whistle loud and clear, even earning Trump the endorsement of leading Nazi site the Daily Stormer. A Trump presidency would embolden these organized racists much more than his campaign already has. I have no doubt they would take the opportunity to terrorize racial minorities and attack resistance infrastructure.

I don’t believe all Americans are willing to put themselves on the line for the undocumented in their communities or to fight tyranny in general, but some do and more will. . . A Trump presidency would delegitimize the federal government just as he sends thousands upon thousands of unwelcome agents into American cities.”

For the past few months, many in the media have treated Trump with kid gloves, failing to note the blatant racism he’s espousing. They accept his bloviating and sound bites about mass deportation as if it has no real world impact. Trump might be good for ratings, but racism is dangerous for the country and it’s time for Trump’s racism to be called out for what it is. His plans to purge the United States of millions of immigrants have dire consequences—and it’s past time to stop pretending otherwise.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “We at America’s Voice have moved from being disgusted by Trump’s racist remarks about Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals’ to being alarmed by Trump’s xenophobic and radical immigration policy proposals. We are confident that the immigration reform movement and our allies will make sure Trump’s policy ideas never get implemented.  But imagine, as a thought experiment, what it would look like and be like if his ideas were to become a reality: immigration agents roaming Latino neighborhoods; a massive increase in the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants; U.S citizen kids having their citizenship and passports revoked; weeping families being ripped apart; immigrant workers being pushed out of jobs and into a burgeoning informal sector of exploited labor; entire industries, from agriculture to hospitality to childcare and beyond, facing existential threats; a sharp economic downturn due to the disruption in the labor market; a massive wave of resistance and conflict throughout America; allies around the world denouncing America for human rights abuses….In short, it would turn out to be one of America’s darkest chapters.”