Donald Trump’s mass deportation timeline is logistically and morally insane

Donald Trump expanded on his plan to deport eleven million undocumented immigrants — perhaps along with their family members who have citizenship — in a call with supporters and journalists last night. According to Trump, who has previously said that he will get Mexico to pay for a big, beautiful wall with a big, beautiful door separating us from our southern neighbor, he can round up and kick out every last one of the people in our country illegally in anywhere from 18 months to two years:

To put that in perspective, that’s between 458,000 and 611,000 deportations per month. Trump is essentially saying that it is not only possible but necessary to take the equivalent of the population of Boston and forcibly remove them the country. Or, put another way:

In the entire year of 2013, the Obama administration oversaw a record 438,000 deportations. Trump wants to multiply that by twelve. At least.

Let’s be clear: You don’t get from point A to point B on this plan with “management.” Baked into Trump’s assertion that he can execute this plan in, at most, two years if it’s “properly handled” is nothing less than the transformation of the United States into a dystopian police state, with the racial profiling, disregard for privacy rights, nighttime police raids and generalized paranoia to match. And even then, comprehensive mass deportation would still be a logistical impossibility.

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

What’s more, the plan is estimated to cost (because someone bothered to crunch the numbers on your angry uncle’s wet dream) upwards of 166 BILLION dollars, so in the obvious scenario in which Congress tells Donald Trump that his mass deportation plan has about as good a chance of passing as he has of playing striker for Cruz Azul, he won’t be able to self-fund the venture.

But for Trump’s supporters, none of these “facts” or “political realities” or “moral disasters” matter.

Bear in mind that, for many of Trump’s supporters — and many Americans — being president is thought to be an awful lot like being the boss on The Apprentice. They think the president sits in a room, barks out tasks, evaluates performance and fires the right people for the right reasons when things go south. Coincidentally, this is also the version of Donald Trump they most closely associate him with — not his failed casino ventures or whites-only apartments. So when Trump says that he’ll hire “incredible people” and manage them well enough to accomplish impossible goals, that makes perfect sense to an alarming number of people.

Even if there’s nothing there behind the overt white nationalism and bloviation.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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