The devil is in Trump’s illegal immigration details

I’m an ordinary person and not an expert on anything, so I like to listen to ideas and people who claim to be experts. Donald Trump stirred up a lot of conservatives and other people who are angry about illegal immigration.  The media coverage of illegal aliens, who should have been deported long ago, committing heinous crimes stirs justifiable anger and a demand that our laws be followed and I agree, illegal immigration must be addressed.

Trump’s promise to build a big wall sounds good and if that’s what border patrol officials believe will quell the flow, I can support that wholeheartedly.  I also don’t believe cities should be allowed to defy federal laws and that issue should have been nipped in the bud, instead of allowing one political party to encourage lawlessness.  If federal funds can be withheld to force compliance with popular liberal programs, then the Republicans should have the guts to compel cities to comply with federal immigration laws.

Listening to the experts argue back and forth, it seems that securing the border isn’t the only avenue where illegal immigrants enter our country.  Foreigners who overstay their visas create another problem and that one should be addressed.  And American businesses who hire illegals should be cracked down on too.

The problem with Trump is he throws out overly simplistic ideas that aren’t in the realm of doable.  He said he is going to triple the number of ICE agents, so an agency of 15,00 could jump to 45,000, okay, that sounds fine. 

Where he loses me is he insists that all illegal immigrants are going to be deported and I’m wondering how the logistics of that could possibly work and how much it would cost.  The figure of 11 million illegal immigrants in the US gets tossed around a lot as a ballpark estimate, so how could that many people be rounded up, fed, sheltered and provided emergency medical care, and then processed and transported  back to their home country?  11 million people is about the population of the state of Georgia.  My mind can’t fathom how costly and difficult a process this would be.

Securing the border and eliminating sanctuary cities make sense, but some mass deportation and then some plan to bring back the “good ones” sounds kind of convoluted, imho.  Start enforcing the laws and increase deportations, but how would immigration courts handle hearings and how expensive would it be to pay for lawyers for millions of illegal immigrants, if we went to some mass rounding up and deportations?  Just from watching large movements of people and reading a lot about the refugee situations in areas where war or natural disasters compels mass movement – it’s quite an undertaking to provide basic humanitarian needs to large groups of people.  Has Donald Trump even thought about the complexities and the enormous cost to what he’s proposing?  Can anyone explain to me how this mass deportation effort would work, because I can’t imagine even a 45,000 ICE agency being able to cope with something of that magnitude?

And at the end of the day, when we’re talking about illegal immigrants, we need to keep in mind the cost vs. the benefit.  Frankly, a lot of the “facts” on illegal immigrants bear little resemblance to the truth, because both sides excessively politicize the issue.   Securing the border, coming up with better tracking of those here on visas, ending sanctuary cities – all speak to good steps to follow, but I am lost on how Trump’s mass deportation would work and I suspect he doesn’t even have a clue either.  Illegal immigrants come in all types, and in a perfect world none of them has any right to be here, but I’d be happy if ICE was allowed to deport the drug traffickers and hardened criminals first,  and then once they’ve got a handle on that we could decide on the illegals who are quietly working as housekeepers, agricultural workers, and children. A phased in program sounds more sensible to me.



Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics

3 responses to “The devil is in Trump’s illegal immigration details

  1. Kinnison

    The answer is self-deportation. A Mid-western Congressman came up with it a number of years ago. Use the IRS, not on the illegals, but on American employers. There is already a national database for aliens legally in the U.S. and able to work here on “green cards”. What you do is to make it mandatory for all employers, agricultural and otherwise, to check the national database prior to hiring any foreign workers to check their status. If they knowingly hire illegals they are then not allowed to claim their wages as a legitimate business expense in their tax filings. Its a great solution, because it nails the big corporations as well, the ones that keep pushing for “amnesty” because they want the cheap labor. No jobs? Mexicans and other illegals are here for the money they can earn and send home—which is many billions per years flowing out of the country and into Mexico—and most of them will self-deport and go home. And we don’t need three times the number of INS agents to round up and deport the remainder. What we need is vigorous and efficient management. Post-WWII President Eisenhower instituted “Operation Wetback” (Note how un-PC they were then…), and appointed a no-nonsense former combat general from the European Theater as head of the Border Patrol. With only 10% of the current number of Border Patrol and INS agents they rounded up and deported virtually all of the illegals in the U.S. in about a year and a half.

    • E-verify was supposed to do that, I thought, but I agree that stringent enforcement of the immigration laws could reverse the tide. All of it hinges on securing the border though, because without that in place, all these other efforts won’t resolve the problem.

  2. Kinnison, I looked up that Eisenhower era effort and the exaggerated estimate is 1,300,000 illegal immigrants were deported to Mexico, which is a far cry from the estimated 11 million today. The theory that many will self-deport might pan out, but it also might not. Securing the border, sharpening the teeth of e-verify and cracking down on sanctuary cities make sense, but I think Charles Krauthammer is right in his article today – why scream about anchor babies and mass deportation, when you’re never going to get Congress to back that.

    I think back to how ardently conservatives fought to keep Elian Gonzalez here and how the scenes of a SWAT raid dragging this scared child out played and the frankly, if Trump runs a campaign where he sounds like Ann Coulter, he will take the GOP down in flames. He may be stirring up some of the base now, but his vitriolic tirades will wear thin among more moderate Republicans and Independents. I understand the base’s frustration, but Trump will have to keep saying more and more outrageous things to keep the media attention on him – he’s like the presidential politics version of shock-jock, Howard Stern, although not quite that vulgar……… yet.

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