By Tom Ignudo
Since Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign, it has received Kardashian-like attention from not only his supporters, but also many Americans.
Granted, his campaign is entertaining. He’s currently leading all GOP members in the polls with 28.3 percent of the vote.
But Trump’s authoritarian views aren’t appealing – except to the “off the spectrum” right wing – especially his immigr – I mean deportation policy.
In particular, his comment “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and SOME, I assume, are good people,” back in June sparked mixed emotions throughout the country.
Notably, during the Fox Business Network & Wall Street Journal debate Nov. 10, Trump referenced a deportation plan used by former president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“Let me just tell you Dwight Eisenhower – moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country,” Trump said at the GOP debate Nov. 10. “Moved them just beyond the border. They came back. Moved them again beyond the border. They came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them way south. They never came back.”
Even though Trump cited Eisenhower’s plan, he never actually said the name of the plan, probably because he would have received immediate blowback during the debate.
In 1954, Eisenhower’s plan “Operation Wetback” deported 1.3 million illegal immigrants, including American citizens, according to the Immigration & Naturalization Service. However, Trump articulated the plan as a flawless process.
He dismissed the significant amount human rights violations of “Operation Wetback,” like the seven deportees who drowned attempting to flee from a boat.
Trump said he would have all 11.5 million estimated illegal immigrants out of the county within two years. That’s 958,333 moved per month and 31,944 moved per day.
In other words, Trump plans on raiding, capturing, and deporting people faster than they can say, “I’m a U.S. citizen.”
But Trump’s plan is not only is based off “Operation Wetback.” It echoes another deportation era of American history: The Mexican Repatriation.
The Mexican Repatriation took place during The Great Depression and lasted throughout the 1930s. While jobs were scarce during The Great Depression, “illegal immigrants,” or even Mexican-American citizens were forcibly removed from their homes and families to open up jobs for Americans.
About 60 percent of the 2 million people deported were U.S. citizens, according to Francisco Balderrama, co-author of the book, “Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s.”
The deportation was done without due process, which is unconstitutional and doesn’t mirror the values we consider to be “American.”
They may have looked the same and spoken the same language, but in reality, the deportation split families and created an everlasting problem at the U.S./Mexico border.
How many people do you think re- entered the country after The Mexican Repatriation, who were actually U.S. citizens?
The same goes for Operation Wetback, and even for the current border problems we have today.
Trump argues that illegal immigrants are “hurting us economically,” but his deportation policy would cost the economy five times the amount illegal immigrants do.
According to the American Action Forum, a non-profit center-right policy institute, the federal government would have to spend roughly $400 to $600 billion to deport 11.5 million illegal immigrants.
Not to mention, in today’s age of surveillance, imagine the inhumane videos of raids that would surface on the Internet as a result of Trump’s policy.
Trump’s immigration plan also features building a wall on the U.S./ Mexico border.
“We need borders,” Trump said. “We will have a wall, the wall will be built, the wall will be successful, and if you think walls don’t work all you have to do is ask Israel.”
First off, Israel is the size of Lake Michigan. Once their wall is completed it’s set to be 403 miles.
The U.S./Mexico border is 1,954 miles, and stretches from California to Texas. Furthermore, Trump plans on making Mexico pay for the wall,which makes zero sense economically, and Israel’s border houses members of its military.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel killed 2,220 Palestinians in 2014, including 1,492 civilians.
Trump’s plan implies that he’s willing to use the same force on the border as Israel, especially since he wants to triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers.
Trump’s plan is to “Make America Great Again,” but this policy would only violate the liberties shared by U.S. citizens.
Overall, our borders need to be secured, but Trump’s plan would alienate our communities and profile U.S. citizens based on their ethnicity, resulting in repeating America’s previous dehumanizing deportations.