Republicans LOVE to talk about immigration. I think Donald Trump even dreams about building his “big, beautiful, powerful wall” on the southern border. The so-called “grassroots” conservatives love the idea. And now Corey Stewart has pretty much made kicking out illegal immigrants his entire gubernatorial platform (along with defending Gen. Lee’s statue and attacking Ed Gillespie, of course).
But you know what Republicans DON’T like talking about? The children of illegal immigrations. The fiscal impact of deportation. The instability it would create in our neighboring states.
And the media eats it up. Until Republicans break their silence on immigration and begin building a coalition behind TRUE immigration reform, the radical hate mongers of our party (i.e. Corey Stewart) will continue to serve as the GOP’s default media spokesman on the issue. And we wonder why the media often portrays Republicans so negatively… YIKES. Even if mass deportation was a realistic option, the ramifications would be devastating to not only the illegal immigrants themselves, but also to the financial and physical security of American citizens.
Reasons why deporting ALL illegal immigrants is a terrible idea (I repeat: TERRIBLE IDEA)…
- The Cost: $400 billion.
- According to Department of Homeland Security, ICE’s deportation efforts cost the American taxpayers $3.2 billon in 2016 alone.
- As CNN recently reported, “each deportation conducted by ICE cost taxpayers an average of $10,854.” This number accounts for the cost of detention (food, housing, etc), legal processing, and transportation back to their home country.
- Based on last year’s average, if every single illegal immigrant was deported (there are an estimated 11 million of them), we are looking at a cost of $119.4 billion before you even factor in the cost of enforcement. Just imagine the resources it would require to locate and apprehend 11 million undocumented individuals? As a conservative, just thinking about how much government expansion the mission would require makes me sick to my stomach.
- And don’t forget that Trump’s wall is also gonna cost us $21.6 billion…
- Government Expansion
- Rounding up, arresting, and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants will take a whole lot more government (i.e. personnel, resources, funding, etc.) that we currently have.
- The U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) currently employs 19,330 people. And last year, DHS reported that ICE handled 240,000 deportations.
- If it took 19,330 ICE employees to round up 240,000 illegal immigrants (a measly 2% of the total number of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.), how many ICE employees would it take to round up the other 98%? Roughly 966,500 ICE employees (a 5000% increase in personnel)!!! Wait… didn’t DJT promise to “drain the swamp” on the campaign trail?
- Negative Economic Impact
- Mass deportations would immediately reduce America’s GDP, given than it would take out a significant chunk of our workforce- approx. 8 million illegal immigrants make up 5% of the total workforce.
- According to a study by two economics professors at CUNY, the deportation of 11 million immigrants would cause U.S. GDP to decline by $434 billion a year.
- The National Bureau of Economic Research has estimated that the loss of the labor force currently made up of undocumented workers would cost the U.S. economy $5 trillion over a decade.
- According to the PEW Research Center, illegal immigrants make up a large chuck of the workforce in the farming industry (26%) and the construction industry (15%).
- The manufacturing industry would also take a big hit… which isn’t exactly convenient considering that President Trump says he is bringing factories back over from China. We will need workers to take these factory jobs, after all!
- Humanitarian Crisis
- Deporting approx. 11 million illegal immigrations back to (largely) central and south America would create an all-out humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportion to neighboring states.
- About 52% of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are from Mexico.
- Deportation would separate families. Take millions of long-time U.S. [illegal] residents out of a healthy economy and force them back into an unhealthy one, with few job opportunities. Plunge them back into their unsafe home country where crime runs rampant and powerful drug cartels rule the streets.
- By kicking 11 million illegal immigrants out to face grim economic prospects, we would be basically be giving them two choices: 1) resort to a life of crime in order to feed your family, or 2) starve and/or become a victim.
- If we create this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, we will surely experience riots and warfare at our borders, so Trump better build that wall quick! Such unrest at our borders would also require increased military presence as well. And don’t be surprised if the U.S. government eventually ends up sending humanitarian aid to Mexico, in response to the crisis we created ourselves, in order to feed the starving former illegal immigrants that we spent $119.4 billion to deport.
So… what now?
Our course, there are plenty of alternative solutions to mass deportation that have been pitched by Republicans. We’re not ALL ignorant, delusional hot-heads! Mass deportation is not only a fiscally irresponsible measure that would exponentially expand the size of government, it is also a immortal act that would jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. citizens.
There are many Republicans who know better than to try to actually deport all illegal immigrants, but they also know better than to say so. If they go on record opposing mass deportations, or even so much as to suggest an alternative, they are immediately labeled an “amnesty loving, establishment rino” and relentlessly attacked by the so-called “true grassroots conservatives”. On the other hand, if they stay silent on the issue of mass deportation in order to avoid angering the conservative base, the media automatically twists their silence into an admission of support for mass deportation.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t…
Of course, there are some brave Republicans out there who understand the big picture and the complexities surrounding this hot-button issue. But unfortunately, their spineless colleagues will most often shut down such efforts for the sake on winning elections.
This last election cycle, Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade put immigration reform at center of his campaign platform by introducing an innovative proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship for non-violent illegal immigrants while also ensuring there are consequences for illegal immigration. Using his first-hand perspective working alongside ICE, he detailed a plan to allow illegal immigrants to voluntarily turn themselves in to a special magistrate and serve a 5-years’ probation, rather than risk incarceration. During this probationary period, these individuals would be required to perform community service, allowing them to integrate into the communities they serve. Then, at the end of their 5-year probation, they would be given the opportunity to apply for citizenship. Unfortunately, the election of his Democratic opponent, now-Congressman Don McEachin, meant that Sheriff Wade was unable to bring his forward-thinking solution to Washington. More Republicans would do well to embrace Wade’s commonsense, fiscally conservative approach to immigration reform.
Illegal immigration is a problem that can no longer be ignored by the mainstream Republican Party. It is high time for commonsense Republicans to grow a backbone and stand up against the rhetoric of anti-amnesty movement who are misguided in their efforts to kick out the illegal immigrants who they say “take our jobs, cost the taxpayers money, and make our streets less safe”. I wonder how they justify spending $400 billion (equal to nearly 50% of the current national deficit) to deport 11 million people… spending that kind of money is obviously counterproductive when part of your anti-amnesty argument is fiscal impact. Just saying…
Case & Point:
It’s time for Republicans to stop talking about illegal immigration, start facing the facts, and finally address the issue. America simply cannot afford mass deportation. It won’t make us safer. Creating pathways to citizenship or permanent residency for non-violent illegal immigrants will not tank our economy, cause federal spending to skyrocket, expand the size of government, spur widespread violence and crime, and threaten the very future of America… but deportation would.
And that, right there, is the message that Republicans (the ones who truly believe in fiscal conservative and small government) need to embrace. If we don’t, we’re nothing but a party of hypocrites.
Time to speak up, Republicans. #silentmajority #amnesty