Donald Trump said in a “60 Minutes” interview that his administration would immediately deport 2 or 3 million illegal aliens with criminal records.
As for the remaining illegals, Trump said that he would secure the border first, then make a determination about the status of those who remain.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump told “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl, according to a preview of the interview released by CBS. “But we’re getting them out of our country. They’re here illegally.”
Stahl had pressed Trump about his campaign pledge to deport “millions and millions of undocumented immigrants.” Trump told her that after securing the border, his administration would make a “determination” on the remaining undocumented immigrants in the country.
“After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about — who are terrific people. They’re terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination at that,” Trump said. “But before we make that determination…it’s very important, we are going to secure our border.”
His comments echoed those he had made at the start of his campaign: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump had said last June when he announced his candidacy. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
According to The Washington Post Fact Checker, Trump likely gets these estimates from a Department of Homeland Security fiscal 2013 report saying there were 1.9 million “removable criminal aliens.” However, that figure includes undocumented immigrants and people who are lawful permanent residents, or those who have temporary visas.
As for how many of those people are illegally present non-citizens, there are conflicting figures from the think tank Migration Policy Institute and the Center for Immigration Studies. In a fact check, The Post rated Trump’s figures “Two Pinocchios,” noting that federal immigration enforcement data is “not always transparent or reliable.”
Trump’s plan will no doubt anger open-borders supporters, but it’s a far more reasonable and practical plan than rounding up and deporting 11 million people. Those illegals already in prison or jail will no doubt be first to go. And the practice of local authorities releasing illegal aliens from custody after they’ve committed a crime will probably end.
The GOP Congress will also address the problem of sanctuary cities. It is intolerable that local authorities can nullify federal law at their own discretion. We fought a civil war to prove that notion wrong, but in service to “social justice,” nothing is sacred.
Congress could cut off some funds to cities that refuse to enforce the law. Which funds and whether they can even do it legally are questions that still needs to be answered.
If Trump is successful, it would be the first positive affirmation of American sovereignty in a long time. Other nations are completely within their rights to control their own sovereign borders. The U.S. should be granted nothing less.