Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
True to form, Jeb Bush went full throttle into to the “we can’t possibly deport 11 million illegal immigrants” zone, and quoted a rate of 500,000 per month. To be honest, he makes a reasonable point. The logistics of it are near impossible.
An Airbus A380 variant flown by Emirates Air can seat 615 people, the largest passenger capacity of any airline. It would require 813 flights of these behemoths every month (i.e, 27 a day) to move that many people. There are only 173 A380’s in service. Jeb may have been exercising hyperbole to support his position, but he isn’t off the mark.
Additionally, identifying and locating that many illegal aliens each month is near impossible and we have no method of doing so now.
Stepping away from the hyperbole, let’s give the candidates some operating room and say they have one term to deport the illegal aliens, which would mean about 200,000 a month. If a half million deportations per month is impossible, 200,000 is only barely achievable.
Relatedly, we need to be realistic about what “securing the border” means. One of my friends is a Texas State Trooper and was one of the first volunteers for the boat squadron that patrols the Rio Grande. His team works closely with US Border Patrol. I visited with him about the situation; suffice to say, border security isn’t as tough-minded as we often think. These days, being detained by Border Patrol doesn’t carry a threat of immediate deportation and is a big reason we continue to see thousands per week streaming into the country.
All that said, I have a scenario I want to pose to Ricochet that I wish was posed to the candidates.
Leaving dinner on a Wednesday night, I make a legal left turn with a green arrow when a well-used Mercedes runs the light and hits me head on. No one is injured, but my SUV has to be towed away and — when all is said and done — I’m going to be out $7,000.
The Mercedes was driven by a young man with a young woman in the passenger seat. Neither of them speak English, and neither has a drivers license or any other form of identification. The car’s inspection and registration are both expired and there is no insurance. The girl in the passenger seat is pregnant, about four or five months along. They have little money.
A Spanish speaking officer is dispatched to the scene and one of the of the EMS technicians speaks Spanish. The driver and passenger are not married and admit to being here illegally. They are evasive about how they got here and whether they have relatives in the country or not.
Sir/Madam, in your administration, what will happen to these two?
If it is verified they are illegal aliens will they be allowed to stay or deported? If they are allowed to stay, will the woman receive publicly-funded healthcare for her pregnancy and child? If their child is born here, will he or she be granted American citizenship?
What I’d Like to Hear
In a Brent Administration, the young couple are taken into custody, their immigration status is determined, and they are turned over to ICE and held until deported. A process measured in days, not years.
They are allowed phone calls and — if family came to visit and found to be here illegally — they will be detained and deported also.
Once detained, they would not be temporarily released or allowed to gather their belongings, money, etc. This may seem rough treatment, but at least we aren’t going house to house doing no-knock raids as happened with Elian Gonzalez.
The Way Forward
This uncomfortable process garners immediate attention, makes people feel “unwelcome,” and challenges those here illegally. If they wish to return home on their own, they can take their possessions, money, family, etc. If they are stopped for so much as jaywalking they are interned in the criminal justice and ICE system until they are released outside our borders.
Not an easy choice and not intended to be. Breaking our laws should not be comfortable or without consequence.
If they elect to stay, live in the shadows, and seek employment for cash, they may do so, but there will be no legal acknowledgement or path to citizenship. Increased use of E-verify and raids on suspect businesses decrease the opportunities to better themselves. As soon as they step out of the shadows, into the purview of law enforcement, or try to get a birth certificate for a child, deportation begins as soon as they are identified without an opportunity to gather their family or possessions.
Jeb Bush is mostly correct: deporting that many illegal aliens isn’t practical. The steps to solve this crisis include, but not limited to:
- Real border enforcement (no more notices to appear or other hand receipts).
- No incentive to come illegally in the first place. No contorted 14th Amendment interpretation that extends citizenship to the children of these criminals.
- End forcing public education for illegal aliens.
- Conduct government business in English only.
- Increase E-verify and employer penalties
- Restrict repatriation of dollars by non-citizens.
Please note I did not include a wall funded by a third party. Rick Perry made a good point awhile back: build a 14′ wall and they make 15′ ladders. Of course he also supported in-state tuition for those who’d broken our immigration laws, so there was motivation for ladder manufacturing courtesy Rick Perry.
Giving illegal immigrants the opportunity and motivation to self-deport is possible. Raiding homes of people we can’t identify and locate to ship them out on 800 flights per month is not.