Politico recently calculated the cost of Donald Trump’s oh-so-realistic immigration plan. It came to 166 Billion dollars. (Billion with a B.)
I guess when you’re rich and delusional, a billion here and there isn’t daunting, but really– are the Republicans who are cheering Trump on really prepared to pay that much money to deport the people who–among other things– are picking their vegetables?
Here’s Politico’s breakdown– the price tag for each of Trump’s immigration policies:
• Mass deportation: $141.3 billion
• Triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers: $8.4 billion per year
• Building the wall: At least $5.1 billion (not including yearly maintenance)
• Nationwide E-Verify system: $2.15 billion
• Visa-tracking system: $7 billion
• Mandatory detention: $1.7 billion
These are just the cash outlays; the total doesn’t include the higher prices of produce and other economic “hits” to an economy that depends much more on the exploitation of undocumented workers than we–or The Donald– like to admit.
This is only one of Trump’s spectacularly stupid positions, of course.
Although it is really difficult to choose a favorite idiocy (and increasingly difficult to distinguish satire from reality), my favorite to date has to be this gem, uttered during an interview with Bill O’Reilly (who, next to Trump, actually looked reasonable): in a discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment provision granting “birthright citizenship” to children born in the U.S., Trump said that the Fourteenth Amendment “would never hold up in court.”
Putting aside the obvious–Trump doesn’t understand the difference between a Constitutional provision and a statute (or the operation of the American legal system, with the exception of bankruptcy law)–this effort by nativists to eliminate birthright citizenship has been embraced by a number of Republicans. Including Indiana Governor Mike Pence when he was in Congress.
A recent interview with WRTV included discussion of Pence’s sponsorship of the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009,” a bill to “redefine” birthright citizenship to prevent children born in the U.S. of immigrant parents from being considered citizens. (Fortunately, like virtually everything then-Congressman Pence sponsored during his tenure in Congress, the bill went nowhere.) Most Hoosiers had been unaware of Pence’s assault on that part of the 14th Amendment until Trump’s antics focused attention on the issue.
As for Trump–I don’t object to the spectacle of an yet another un-self-aware, self-aggrandizing, self-parodying jerk running for President. What freaks me out is that this one is currently leading the GOP pack.