In the discussion of Donald Trump’s agenda for dealing with illegal immigration, lots of his proposals are said to be absurd. But are they all?
Targeted deportations are not the same as mass deportations. Trump may want all of the latter, but just as absurdly the Democratic Party seems not to want any of the former.
We don’t know how many illegal immigrants are in the United States, only that the proverbial figure of “11 million” exists in amber since the last century, and despite massive influxes each year. So there is no way to ascertain either the size of the pool of illegal immigrants or how many have committed crimes. Rounding up every illegal alien and immediately deporting them is not feasible, but that does not mean that over one million with criminal records could not be returned to their home countries as undesirables.
Even liberal sources suggest that somewhere between 12% to 15% of that figure are likely criminals or have arrest records. Some states report a fourth to a third of their murders are likely committed by illegal aliens. That cohort makes up over 25% of federal prisoners.
In other words, the number of what Trump in politically incorrect fashion called “good people” (e.g., does he mean those without a criminal record other than entering the U.S. illegally?) is likely quite large, in both absolute numbers, and percentage wise.
The number of Trump’s supposedly “bad people” (convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor?), who as guests abused the hospitality of their host, could be small percentage-wise. Yet the number might still be well over one million in need of immediate and lasting deportation.
Would deportations of the more than one million (if one deported only criminals, and not as well those without work records and chronically on public assistance), as alleged, begin with a storm of jack-booted cops breaking down the doors of innocent barrio residences?
Every day, thousands of illegal aliens file false federal affidavits, use phony Social Security numbers, employ fake IDs, are pulled over for DUIs, and shoot and steal — the very violations of the laws that sanctuary cities sought to nullify. The crimes are apparently numerous enough occurrences to win the attention of sanctuary cities, which would not exist if illegal aliens were all, as implied, “dreamers.”
In sum, government agencies would need only to follow passive enforcement of the law, and allow illegal aliens to come into contact with legal authorities of various sorts rather that conduct deportation raids. ICE, then, would need only to deport those who had criminal holds on them — as they insidiously came into contact with the criminal justice system. The number and frequency of those encounters could be quite substantial each day and cumulatively so by year’s end.
Make Mexico Pay?
Sending Mexico a bill, or charging tariffs on trade, to finish the wall as penance for its cynical manipulation of American magnanimity is childish and unnecessary. Instead, we should look at some $40-50 billion that are sent as remittances home to Central America and Mexico each year, largely by illegal aliens themselves. Such a staggering sum might represent on average a $200-500 a month expense per illegal alien, a disposable sum that at best suggests existential poverty may not necessarily haunt every illegal alien resident, and at worse might remind us that government subsidies are sometimes used to free up income to send out of the country. Imagine if $40-50 billion were instead infused into the U.S. health care and legal systems for the indigent.
All the government would have to do, in the manner that most nations abroad already do, would be to impose a federal surcharge on all remittances by any sender who could not provide a U.S. passport to substantiate the transaction. At a 10% rate, billions could be raised ($4-5 billion a year?), and applied to the completion of the border fence. Within four or five years, the cost ($20 billion?) could be easily met by those whose illegality prompted the wall to be built.