Donald Trump has said he will deport every illegal immigrant after he is elected. While I approve the principle, I believe there are some practical difficulties with the idea. I doubt he fully understands the complexity of the problem. Allow me to elaborate.
First of all, you have to identify the illegals. Remember, most of them are hiding within our population. They won’t turn themselves in, ordinarily (although I have a plan for that.) Some are easily identified: they’re in our jails and prisons. For those with less than a year remaining, we could jerk them out and put them on a bus – but wait! They’re supposed to get a deportation hearing under current law. OK, jerk them out, give them a hearing, then put them on a bus (if the judge allows.)
However, there’s the problem of – which bus? Not all illegals are from Mexico. They come from several countries in Central America, such as Honduras, or possibly even from the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, or the Southwest Pacific. You can’t use a bus for them. An airplane, perhaps? A cruise ship?
The problem of which bus to put them on is complicated by the fact that the illegal might not tell you which country she came from. We might have to waterboard her to find out.
Then, after we discover her country of origin, that country might not be accepting repatriates right now. They don’t want her either. What do we do about that? Obviously, America could sanction that country, (cut off trade and foreign aid, for example) if they simply weren’t accepting deportees, period. The destination country could dispute individual cases, make us prove our individual came from there. Not easy, when she has no documentation.
Our immigrant, let’s call her Sally, speaks Portugese but won’t say where she came from. The only way we know for certain Sally is illegal is because she doesn’t speak English and has no documentation. But wait! She has a driver’s license and a Social Security Card, which we know is fake. What do we do with Sally? Put her in a camp for the rest of her life? Turn her loose, and let her run free? Slip her on a bus to Mexico City and hope no one notices?
If we’re lucky, Sally didn’t just swim the Rio Grande. She left a bit of a trail, either by coming into the country on a Border Crossing Card, or a work permit, or maybe she’s overstaying her VISA so we obtained some data on her. In any of those cases we know where she came from.
But, Sally had a baby while she was here. DREAM says the baby is an American citizen. We can deport Sally, but not her baby, who is now eighteen. We’ll have to put baby in a foster home, perhaps.
I’ve just given a few situations above. Add a few more, then multiply by eleven million or whatever the total is now.
It would be much easier to deport the entire population of California. We’d get rid of about half of the illegals and all the Hollywood liberals. We’d also open up some nice real estate for settlement.
What do I think we should do, really? Build the wall, as the Donald suggests, and make Mexico pay for it. Pass laws which allow prosecution of officials of sanctuary cities. Here’s where I deviate: pass a law making being both unregistered and illegal a felony, with automatic deportation on conviction (no deportation hearing.) Put additional bite in it by confiscating all U.S. possessions of the deportee. But, give a one-time period of amnesty, during which illegals must register, including providing photos and fingerprints. Anyone who registers during the amnesty period would get a work permit (green card) and (say) three months to find employment. A registered illegal would have to keep her actual address on file with Homeland Security. They could stay as long as they work or are in a protected category such as a wife or child supported by someone else who is legally in the United States.
After instituting the above, just follow current law.
None of the above will be easy. One problem is that the current Federal computerized immigrant tracking system doesn’t work very well, if at all. It desperately needs to be replaced.
My final comment is that the Spanish word “Deportes” means “sports.” When we tell them they are “deportees” they’ll think they are getting a good deal.