Donald Trump told host Chuck Todd of Meet the Press that he would deport all illegal aliens if he were elected president. “They have to go,” he told Todd.
“We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go,” he said in the interview, which will air in full on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday.
Pressed on what he’d do if the immigrants in question had nowhere to return to, Trump reiterated: “They have to go.”
“We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country,” he said.
Speaking on Trump’s gilded private plane as it idled on a runway in Des Moines, Iowa, the real-estate mogul and Republican presidential frontrunner offered the first outlines of the immigration policy proposals he’d implement from the Oval Office.
Trump said, to begin, “we have to” rescind Obama’s executive order offering those brought to the U.S. illegally as children — known as DREAMers — protection from deportation, as well as Obama’s unilateral move to delay deportation for their families as well.
“We have to make a whole new set of standards” for those immigrating to the US.
The comments are certain to further inflame already fierce opposition from Latino activists and advocacy groups. They’ve been critical of Trump’s candidacy from the start, when he kicked off his campaign with a speech that accused Mexico of sending “criminals” and “rapists” to the U.S.
Trump was hazy on the details of his deportation plan. Presumably it would be legal, which means amending the Constitution to make it possible to deport so-called “anchor babies” — children born in the U.S. of illegal parents. Either that, or simply allow anchor-baby families to remain in the U.S. and grant them legal status.
Somehow, I doubt he would employ that option.
Then, there is the due process that illegal aliens have a right to, according to the law. They can’t be deported without it, and with 11 million court cases coming, he might want to think of increasing the number of immigration judges by a factor of about a thousand. Or perhaps we could change the law and deny illegals due process.
Of course, we’d have to round them all up to deport them. “Papers, please” will become an American catchword in the near future if Trump wins. And where would we keep them all? Jails are already seriously overcrowded so maybe we can build some “camps” — you know, like all totalitarian regimes have — to keep the illegals penned up until their hearing.
Repealing Obama’s executive orders are fine, although there would be a court challenge on behalf of DREAMers because they’ve already been given legal status. Other steps that could be taken include putting some teeth in employer sanctions for hiring illegals, and making it much harder for cities to defy immigration law so that ICE can deport criminals.
As for the rest of the 11 million illegals, Trump is right. “We either have a country or we don’t have a country.” It’s just that Trump’s idea of what America is and what it stands for is as alien as any illegal who jumps the border.