How much is Trump's immigration approach going to cost or work?
Let me assure you that I hate illegal immigration as much as Mr. Trump. Illegal immigration mocks the rule of law, from the employer taking advantage of his competitors with cheap labor to document fraud to a border that is a national security concern. In other words, it is a bad system that we've allowed to get out of control.
Donald Trump proposes deporting people. He has not really explained how he would do it but my friend Israel Ortega believes that it will expand government a lot:
Start with Trump’s call to forcibly deport an estimated 11-12 million illegal immigrants, including children and the elderly. When pressed on specifics, Trump says he intends to do deport people humanely and orderly. But even taking this statement at face value, Trump is proposing nothing less than the creation of the largest police state in our history. As the scholars at the American Action Forum have recently pointed out, the federal government would need to spend from $400 to $600 billion over 20 years to remove the current undocumented population. Of course, that number is subject to change considering the scant exact numbers of a population largely living in the shadows.
The AAF study also estimates that in order to prevent future illegal immigration, the federal government would need to commit to an additional $315 billion toward border security over the same period.
Trump tells us that a country needs borders and he is correct. He says that people should respect our immigration laws and he is correct again.
However, there are smarter ways to fix the problem than exploiting our fears.
Go ahead and build the fence. It will actually help both sides, even if the Mexican political class does not admit it publicly.
Go after employers and make it really costly to hire someone without papers. Send repeat employers offenders to jail and you will see illegal immigration stop very fast.
Finally, offer people here a guest worker visa that allows them to work. It would not be not a path to citizenship and would require be renewal from time to time based on our economic needs. It makes more economic sense, as Israel Ortega explains in the aforementioned article, than having police officers drag out women and children from their homes.
Illegal immigration is bad and I repeat that Mr. Trump is right. However, proposing real solutions is what we expect from our leaders. Sorry, but we are not hearing any real world solutions from Mr. Trump.