Children wailing for their parents in social services offices, families being pushed out of their homes and shoved into buses by police authorities, immigration offices and courtrooms flooded with people and desperation. This is what America would look like if Trump’s promise to deport its 11 million undocumented immigrants is kept with his election as president.
Despite recently having a supposedly pleasant meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto, presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to promote his proposed immigration policy of the mass deportation of Mexican people currently living in the U.S.
“I promise you from the first day in office — the first thing I am going to do — the first piece of paper, the first piece of paper that I’m going to sign is we’re going to get rid of these people, day one, before the wall, before anything,” Trump said during a speech in Iowa in August, according to CNN.
The reasoning for his proposed policy is to get rid of the massive amount of criminality that exists in this country and to improve its damaged economy, both of which supposedly have immigrants to blame.
Though it has been recently said that Trump is “getting soft” on his policy, which has been the centerpiece of his campaign since its beginning, he has shown no sign of positive change about the issue.
In a speech given in Arizona shortly after his private meeting with President Nieto, Trump once again reiterated his plan to deport undocumented immigrants, specifically those with criminal records.
In an attempt to appeal to voters, he has said in recent interviews that he may allow some immigrants to stay while he places more focus on those who are criminals. But, if simply being Mexican qualifies as a criminal record, an opinion he has expressed in many interviews, how can we be sure he plans to provide the just legal treatment that immigrants are due?
No matter what political moves he makes to achieve better morale, the truth of the matter remains that the disrespectful generalizations and labels he has placed on Mexican people is a testament to the most likely inhumane way he would plan to go about a mass deportation.
Trump has exhibited no real insight as to how such a plan would take place, what the effects would be on the country and its people, and how it would even be funded.
The only picture he has painted concerning how he would plan to deport such a massive amount of people was when he cited President Eisenhower’s 1954 “Operation Wetback” model, which rounded up and deported thousands of undocumented immigrants in a way certainly condemnable as inhumane.
“Let me just tell you,” Trump retorted to Governor John Kasich during the fourth Republican debate last fall, “that Dwight Eisenhower, good president, great president, people liked him…. Moved a 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border.”
Following deportation, those deported would be welcomed back into the U.S. by Trump only after going through a lengthy process to achieve legal status, which would most likely take many years to complete given current procedures.
Of course, those with criminal records beyond their immigration violations would receive “zero tolerance,” according to The Washington Post.
If Trump truly does plan to copy such a model as “Operation Wetback,” America is looking at a very bleak future. Families will be torn apart, businesses will suffer the loss of millions of employees, and the American people will be left wondering whether “Land of the Free” is a worthy name for their home.
According to Trump and his many supporters, the millions of immigrants in this country are to blame for the sputtering economy we have been experiencing over the years, yet economic research begs to differ.
“Although economists have yet to arrive at a complete consensus, decades of studies generally do not support the notion that immigration harms the economy, market wages or native employment,” wrote Kevin Shih, an assistant professor of economics, in an article for The Conversation.
People with a Trump mindset have used immigrants as a scapegoat for America’s troublesome economy for years, without actually using any evidence to support their argument.
According to economists Giovanni Peri and Chad Sparber, inflow of immigrants actually benefitted native workers by inducing them “to shift to jobs that are more complementary in nature and where they have a comparative advantage,” wrote Shih. “And that limited the impact on wages and employment.”
In fact, research shows that the only ones who are actually negatively affected by inflow of immigrants are other recent immigrants.
“Recent immigrants are the most easily substituted with new immigrants, tend to live and work in the same labor markets that new immigrants enter, often do not have the skills to move toward communication-intensive jobs and face restrictive policies that limit access to higher education,” wrote Shih. “As such, their labor market prospects appear to deteriorate when new immigrants arrive.”
Not only is Trump’s immigration policy ridiculously racist, if put into action it will certainly be economically damaging and socially unjust.