Open Letter to President Trump:
During the recent campaign you told the American electorate you would immediately deport all illegal aliens upon your election. Implied in this promise is that their children would also be deported, since most parents would never choose to leave without their children.
On February 21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced greatly broadened guidelines for those who could be deported — making virtually any undocumented alien subject to deportation — and the hiring of an additional 15,000 agents to accomplish this.
The supposed aim of this policy is to provide jobs to American citizens (and documented aliens) by removing the 11.1 million undocumented aliens living in the U.S., two-thirds of whom have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or longer, and who have about 4.5 million children born in the U.S. — now U.S. citizens.
That’s a lot of illegal aliens to deport. Since 8 million of the undocumented are gainfully employed, their deportation will have dramatic economic repercussions.
While the recently announced guidelines emphasize agent stops, apprehensions, and deportations, you have other means available to achieve your goals — Romney’s “self-deportation” and mass forced repatriation.
Self-deportation can best be described as the creation of an atmosphere that forces the undocumented to leave the country “voluntarily,” even though many could not afford to do so even if they wanted to. It can be best accomplished by instilling an abiding fear in employers that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for hiring illegal aliens. Existing law provides civil and criminal penalties for illegal hires, from civil fines of $100 per violation to imprisonment for 10 years.
A vigorous, pervasive and persistent campaign of employer civil and criminal prosecutions — a campaign of shock and awe — may create such an abiding fear. No paper tigers here — raids, arrests, and prosecutions of employers; no settlements without admissions of guilt; no guilty verdicts without fines and imprisonment.
Your campaign would have to prevail in all 50 states and at all levels of employment, from the large meat-packing plants to moms hiring housekeepers and nannies. To accomplish this, your agents would have to conduct workplace raids and paper raids (“I-9 audits”).
Aside from the fact that this would require an new army of civil servants to implement, other than just the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and DHS agents involved, do you want to create a climate of employer fear? Apparently not, since you seem to have chosen the second alternative — forced repatriation.
Forced repatriation will require another campaign of shock and awe to work quickly and efficiently. The campaign must capture and deport aliens, but frighten at least some illegal aliens and their families into leaving, another way to force self-deportation.
But face it: 11.1 million illegal aliens, plus another 4.5 million citizens born to illegal aliens, is a lot of people. Even if half that number self-deported, the illegal aliens and their families remaining leaves you with a staggering challenge.
We have some experience that might be instructive. During World War II, the United States “relocated” approximately 115,000 Japanese and Americans of Japanese ancestry.
This program eventually entailed the creation of detention camps and isolation centers, and the use of other federal facilities like the Federal Bureau of Prisons, not to mention the use of other then critical manpower and material resources to keep them confined until the end of the war, when they were eventually released.
It’s virtually impossible to calculate the direct and indirect costs this policy created, not just those incurred by the federal, state and local governments, but by the Americans of Japanese ancestry themselves, and also by other American businesses and citizens affected by these “relocations.” The policy remains an indelible stain on American history.
The issues you’ll face forcibly deporting 15.6 million people, or even half that number, will dwarf those issues authorities faced in the World War II relocation effort. Such massive deportations will necessitate the creation of dramatically larger infrastructures of enforcement, housing and transportation. How much will this cost?
Aside from that, has the Mexican government, and other Central and South American governments, assured you that they’ll admit, transport, house, and feed 10.5 million of their nationals, and their U.S.-born children, into their countries?
Will the Mexican government allow you to transit Mexico on the way to Central and South America to deliver 2.4 million Central and South Americans, and their U.S. born children, to “their” countries?
How much will it cost to just transport the other 2.7 million illegal persons from distant parts of the world such as India, the Philippines, and Sudan?
What will you do with illegal aliens and their families whose countries of origin refuse to cooperate with your deportation plans? What will you do with those illegal aliens and families left stranded in deportation camps?
What would you do if you were in the shoes of these illegal aliens, or the shoes of their children? Fully cooperate with DHS and ICE agents?
Just to the contrary. All people in the United States, including illegal aliens, have rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, including the right to remain silent.
Once taken into custody, they could exercise their constitutional rights, and give DHS and ICE agents their names and addresses, and absolutely nothing more — except their utter and complete silence.
This would force the Department of Justice to prove, not only that they are here illegally, but to prove their countries of origin. If they exercised their right to remain silent, how could the DOJ (Department of Justice) prove they were here illegally? How could the DOJ determine their countries of origin?
This would create a virtual logjam of deportation cases. ICE, DHS, and the DOJ would be incapable of confining, feeding, transporting, educating, policing, and providing medical care to these millions for any appreciable length of time.
Good luck, President Trump.