Can Trump Round Up 20 Million Illegals?

Donald Trump recently appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show and was presented with an emotive scenario intended to bring Trump into the quandary of the establishment.

In context of rounding up illegals for deportation, Mr. Trump was asked about the families.  What about the undocumented people living in our country, working hard and raising children?  Is Trump going to bust into every home Janet Reno-style and drag families, kids and all, to the southern border?

This scenario creates quite the image and will be used repeatedly by the press to show just how unworkable, unfair, and heartless Trump’s idea really is.

Trump’s response to the scenario was: if we are to have a country, we have to enforce our laws, and the “good” people will be fast-tracked back into our country with legal status.

The first half of Trump’s response is great – we have to enforce our laws.  But for Trump and the GOP candidates who are taking a “hardline” stance on those who have broken our laws and disregarded our sovereignty, I would like to take the emotion out of this scenario and present a laconic response for the candidates.

First, under O’Reilly’s lachrymose scenario, the issue of anchor baby citizenship comes to the fore.

It’s axiomatic that the insane policy of granting U.S. citizenship to the offspring of illegal alien parents must be ended (and the 14th Amendment doesn’t need to be amended to stop it – but that’s another article).

So the unasked and unanswered question is: if the policy of indiscriminate birthright citizenship is ended, should children already afforded citizenship be allowed to keep their status?  In other words, should they be grandfathered in?  Should United States law state that going forward, citizenship will not be awarded to the offspring of illegal resident parents?

Inasmuch as certain individuals were given U.S. citizenship, I tend to think they should be grandfathered in (although the U.S. is not obligated, and an argument can be made to send them all back).

If they are grandfathered in, then the emotive scenario of the press falls flat.

It falls flat because U.S. policy is such that the parents of anchor babies are not deported and become the beneficiaries of de facto legal status.  If grandfathered in, O’Reilly’s tearjerker scenario becomes moot.

Once the new law goes into effect (prohibiting anchor baby citizenship), residents south of the U.S. border will be on notice that if they somehow get past the expected border wall, they will face arrest instead of taxpayer benefits (irrespective of hardship stories).

Now a quick word about rounding up millions of illegals for deportation.

The best way to handle this question is to point out the obvious.  No one is proposing going door-to-door and collecting and dropping off hundreds of thousands of people at a time at the border.

Deportation will happen naturally, and many will leave voluntarily.  As illegal aliens come into contact with the police and other government agencies, they will be arrested and deported.  This means that once birthright citizenship for illegals ends, not many new illegals are going to be applying for taxpayer-funded welfare benefits.  If they do show up, they will be arrested and deported.  Any benefits currently granted irrespective of anchor baby citizenship will not be dispersed – illegals will scarcely apply with the guarantee of arrest and deportation.

About the morality of deporting those who trampled our laws and sovereignty underfoot.

Trump is right.  If we are to have a country, we have to enforce our sovereignty, borders, and laws.

We hear much talk about deporting only criminals – that is, only illegals who have violated the criminal laws of the states after crossing the U.S. border.  Well, that position misses the quiddity of their actual status under law.  Every person who entered our country illegally has criminally trespassed at the federal level.  They are not immigrants – immigrants go through a legal process.  They are illegal invaders.  They have already violated U.S. law.  They already are criminals.

In day-to-day practice, we can notice that U.S. citizens are prosecuted for old crimes.  Whether they are working hard and raising families is irrelevant.

If a U.S. citizen committed a felony in New York 10 years ago and jumped bail and is hiding in Montana as a fugitive, if found, he will be extradited (arrested and deported from Montana) for trial.  At sentencing, the defense will argue that he’s a hardworking man with a home, a wife, and three young, beautiful children.  Sending him to prison now will break up the family.  What difference at this point does it make?  He has broken no laws in Montana.  He’s an outstanding citizen.

Well, the fact that the court will have to break up a family to send a criminal to prison will likely make little difference in the final disposition of the case.  If our courts of law are not often moved by emotion when upholding the rule of law in context of U.S. citizens, how much more should U.S. policy uphold the rule of law in context of foreign criminal trespassers?

Monte Kuligowski is a Virginia attorney.