It’s Real: Trump Is the GOP’s #1 Deportation Man
America has a new president. After months of debates, town halls, primaries, and caucuses, voters chose Donald J. Trump. In Trump talk — that’s YUGE. Very, very strong. Tremendous. Fantastic. Utterly amazing. The great and powerful President Trump is here to Make America Great Again.
The only problem: the Donald’s promises are impossible, expansive, and dangerous. I am sure that most Americans — including Republicans — would run away screaming from Trump if they had any idea what his immigration promises would cost — and not just in dollars. In order to the coming Trump nightmare, Americans have to wake up to these realities: Donald Trump’s plans would cost trillions of dollars, threaten our economy, and make an enemy of Mexico.
Deport, deport, deport
To understand what I mean, let’s look at the issue that defined Trump’s campaign. From the moment he descended the Trump Tower’s gold escalator, Trump made immigration issue #1. He promised (repeatedly) to build an amazing, beautiful wall across our southern border and make Mexico pay for it. He promised to deport all criminal aliens. The executive order he signed on Day One, authorizes the hiring of 5,000 new border agents and 10,000 new immigration officers.
During the campaign, Trump swore that he’d deport 11.6 million immigrants who have lived in the US for years — plus their children, even if those kids are US citizens. He has never revised that position. Here’s what he said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
After that he promised: “I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
The Cost of His Words to All Americans
So, let’s mark Trump’s words. Here’s a look at the real world cost of Trump’s plan to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants in 2 years. The numbers come from American Action Forum, a right-leaning think tank, who issued this report on May 5, 2016
Here’s a breakdown of conclusions from the study:
- Total cost of removing immigrants – $400-$600 billion
- Loss of 2% of our GNP
- Economic decline $1 trillion per year
- Increase apprehension workers by 85,000
- Add 48,000 more immigration detention personnel
- Hire 31,000 new federal immigration attorneys
- Staff 1,250 more immigration courts
- Find 300,000 new detention beds
- Transport deportees using 17,000 chartered flights per year and 31,000 bus trips per year
In addition, the report looks at the real impact of losing 6.8 million working immigrants Here a just a few conclusions:
- Our available native workforce cannot fill the jobs held by immigrants
- Private sector employment would fall by 4 million or more
- Worker decline would cost business at least $380 billion in lost output.
- The loss could reach as high as $600 billion.
A number of industries would be crippled by the loss of immigrant workers. One example is the industry with the largest percentage of immigrants, 16.1%: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting. It’s estimated that Trump’s deportation policy would result in a loss of almost 342,600 workers. Because these jobs are so tough and dangerous — killing and processing meat and fish, picking vegetables, working on farms, and cutting lumber — it’s not hard to understand why it would be difficult, if not impossible, to replace the lost workers. Imagine the problems for the business involved. Image what would happen to the cost of our food.
Other industries, including Construction (12.2% immigrants) and Leisure & Hospitality (9% immigrant) face similar upheaval.
The Cheap Trump Wall
In the face of the facts, Trump is unmoved. He’s not only going to get everyone out, he’s going to fortify the border with his big, tall, beautiful, and cheap fence. So, let’s look into how much his cheap wall will cost.
Some Facts to Consider
- US shares a 2000 mile border with Mexico.
- There are lakes that straddle the border. Lake Amistad and Falcon Lake.
- Big Bend National Park shares a 118 mile border with Mexico
- The border region is home to many endangered animal species Mexican gray wolves, black bears, cougars and jaguars, who large space in order to survive.
- 652 miles of border fencing is complete.
- There are 21,370 agents protecting our borders (2016). This number is double what it was ten years ago.
- Customs and Border Patrol agency received funding of $13 billion in 2016.
- CBP is required by Congress to spend $447,461,000 on fencing and technology in 2016-2017.
- Since 2006, the US has spent $5.9 billion on border fencing, infrastructure, roads, and cameras.
Behold, the Trump Wall
These facts aren’t deterring Trump. We all know that Trump never reconsiders or revises his grandiose plans. Instead, he proclaims that he alone knows how to build a 30 foot wall. Sometimes he talks about a 40 foot wall. In any case, he’s describing a wall of concrete panels set into huge concrete posts. According to Trump, this whole operation will be both quick and cheap. He brags that he can pull off this construction miracle for a measly $10-12 billion. The whole thing will be finished in less than two years.
There only one problem with the Trump estimates. Architects and engineers who build bridges and infrastructure arrive at much bigger numbers. One engineer assumes a cost of $17 billion just for the materials. Another comes in at a cost of $12 billion for the 1300 miles not yet fenced. Before a single panel can be set in stone, there’s the tiny, little question of land rights. Individuals own land on the border and someone has to pay them a fair price for their property. Don’t forget, the whole thing has to be maintained. That expense is somewhere around $750 million, every year. Now, add in the cost of drones, cameras, and personnel, and we get to a budget buster. Several engineers have come to the conclusion that the real cost of Trump’s wall is closer to $25 billion.
According to Reuters (Feb 10, 2017), “An internal Trump administration memo obtained by Reuters put the total predicted cost of covering the remainder of the U.S.-Mexico border with walls and fences at $21.6 billion, nearly double the $12 billion Trump has said it would cost in the past and significantly more than the $15 billion that congressional GOP leaders have put the price tag at.”
Today, the conservative GOPers promised NO money for the wall without budget cuts. So, where exactly will Trump find a $22 billion cut?
Trump promised (over and over) that Mexico will pay for his new, big wall.. After Mexico refused (over and over) to pay even a peso for the f—-g wall, the GOP congress jumped in with a promise to front the cost. Translation: you and I will pay for the wall. And, if the budget cutters get their way, we’ll not only pay for the wall, we’ll pay again with the budget cuts that will invariably hurt those in need. (I’m sure that rich folks won’t have to pony up a dime of taxes, aren’t you?)
But wait, we wouldn’t really pay for the wall, according to Trump. A 20 – 35% tariff on all goods Mexico exports to the US would pay for the wall. Of course, the Trump administration ignores the fact: tariffs make products from Mexico more expensive for Americans to buy. And, Americans do buy from Mexico — over $291 billion each year. We buy cars, car parts, delivery vehicles, computers, and crude oil along with pottery, clothing (some made by Donald Trump himself) and avocados.
Thanks to Trump, prices are going up. In other words: we are paying for the wall. We’re paying for the corresponding budget cuts. We’re paying, and paying, and paying. Meanwhile, the wealthy are counting their tax cuts and celebrating their man in the White House.
The immigration policies of Donald Trump prove several things.
- Deporting 11 million immigrants and building a border fence will shock our economy. Hello Trump recession.
- Building a wall is infinitely more difficult and expensive than Trump says. Imagine his plans for building a wall through the border lakes!
- Trump proposes tariffs that will harm all Americans by increasing prices on things we buy..
Beyond the facts, there is one more incalculable cost of Trump’s deportation nightmare: empowering a dangerous man to turn America into a police state.