The Realities of a Mass-Deportation

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The current conservative dogma on immigration reform may be justifiable to a point, however, is it hyped up to be more than it’s worth?

Republican immigration policy is simple – I like to call it the go back home method. Simply put, most conservatives believe that if you are from another country, and do not hold the necessary citizenship documentation, you need to go back home. In essence, this policy is somewhat agreeable for undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes yet still are able to receive free health care accessible to welfare. As of 2016, it is estimated that upwards of 12 million illegal Immigrants reside in the United States, making up about 5% of our entire labor force. Current front-runner republicans, such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, fully advocate for a mass deportation of illegal immigrants. There are, however, several discrepancies between this idealistic conservative pipe dream and the realities of this process.


Ted Cruz, in a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper discussing a mass-deportation, stated, “No, I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime… We also don’t have people going door-to-door looking for murderers. We don’t live in a police state. We do have law enforcement.” In this vague attempt at justifying his plan, he insinuates a state where only those who are apprehended will be deported. It seems that he as well as Donald Trump believe that all illegal immigrants are criminals, when this is not at all the case. Realistically, the only way to actually rid the country of undocumented residents is to “send jackboots,” as Cruz so elegantly puts it. Is this invasive and unconstitutional door-to-door witch-hunt what modern conservatives are hoping to push forth in the future in order to fulfil their proclamations? Well, I hope not.

Economically speaking, a mass deportation would make a considerable dent in America’s wallet. It is estimated that deporting all 12 million illegal immigrants would cost 114 billion dollars, averaging a little over $10,000 per person. However, this cost is nothing compared to the estimated 600 billion dollars that building up such a massive deportation system would need. Additionally, the cost of shrinking the labor force by nearly 6% comes with a 1.6 trillion dollar decrease in American gross domestic product.

Politicians have a rich history on playing in on the fears on the American populace in order to persuade them of the imperative nature of their drastic actions. To name a few, George Bush’s post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan, FDR’s executive order to place Japanese-Americans in internment camps, and well… Trump’s plan to “temporarily” ban Islamic immigrants from the United States. This tactic, as absolutely despicable as it may be, does seem to work. As you may have noticed, this method of persuasion has been paramount in one particular presidential hopeful’s campaign: Donald Trump.


It is irrefutable that the world faces a war on terror, however Trump seems to believe that we face a war on Islam. This is clear in his proposal to place “a temporary ban on islamic immigrants” and in his claim that “most” Muslims hate the United States. Trump once reflected on mexican immigration by saying, “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.” Scapegoating particular racial and religious groups in times of national strife is not an unfamiliar practice in world history. When asked if he supports Roosevelt’s order to place the Japanese into internment camps during the 40’s, Trump replied, “I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer.” In this answer, Trump alludes that if he were to feel that internment camps were a necessary measure to ensure national security, he would make it happen.

Though the republicans claim that there is great benefit in a mass-deportation, it is clear that the United States should do so due to the social and economic hindrances that would inevitably arise.
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About the author

Joseph Smith is 17 years old, a resident of Westborough, Massachusetts, and a member of the class of 2017 at St. Mark’s School. He plans on getting undergraduate degrees in economics and computer science. He is involved in several leadership positions at St. Mark’s, including sustainability prefect and captain of the varsity golf team. He enjoys traveling, computer programming, graphic design, golf and squash. Joseph is also a passionate humanitarian; last summer he spent 3 weeks volunteering as a counsellor at Brantwood sleep-away Camp for the underprivileged and has spent hours upon hours volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Marlborough, during his sophomore and junior years. Joseph is a STEM Research Fellow at St. Mark's working on a data manipulation, allocation, compression and analytics algorithm.

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