When it comes to immigration, I’m hearing this phrase echoed more and more by Republicans, “Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport” the millions of illegal immigrants presently in the country.“
However I was really disappointed to hear that from Rand Paul.
Rand, as the most libertarian member of the Senate, may have come to his open borders ideas honestly. Open labor markets are fundamental to libertarian thought, but the rote, we are not going to deport 12 million people (or 11 million, fill in your own number) is the first line in virtually any conversation with an establishment Republican about immigration. In other words, we are going to have amnesty no matter what, so deal with it.
It’s clear that we are never going to have an equivalent of Operation Wetback. That Eisenhower era program forcibly repatriated illegal aliens from California to Texas back to Mexico. Although the estimates of the success of the program vary wildly, from 50,000 to 1.3 million, the estimates are much higher for the numbers of illegals who voluntarily left to avoid being detained and sent back by Operation Wetback.
However we don’t really have to go to such extremes. Normal enforcement would take care of the illegal problem in a few years after we successfully sealed the border. Don’t believe me?
According to ICE:
400,000 aliens were deported in 2011
392,862 aliens were deported in 2010.
390,000 aliens were deported in 2009.
So if the borders were sealed, using normal enforcement measures, illegal aliens would be largely gone in a little over 25 years. However they would cease to be a major concern long before that. And that assumes there would be no self deportation, which has been occurring since the start of the financial crisis. That’s certainly a quicker pace than the one we were promised after the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986. We are still waiting for the borders to be closed as promised with that bill.
So yes, we can deport millions. We already deport hundreds of thousands every single year. With an open border however, it’s just bailing out the ocean. If we ever got serious about closing the border the numbers of illegal aliens in this country would start to reduce immediately.
So as soon as I hear, “well we are not going to deport millions of people…” I know the speaker is not interested in actually dealing with the problem of illegal immigration. They are only interested in getting those illegals amnestied; the quicker the better. That tells me who in Washington is serious about the problem and who isn’t. Right now, it seems that virtually no one is interested in doing anything other than amnesty.