In Practice, the Trump Deportation Plan Might Look More Like a Form of Amnesty

 

Trump-ShrugDonald Trump says “everything is negotiable” about his immigration plan. That statement yesterday comes after BuzzFeed’s editor suggested Trump told New York Times editors — in an off-the-record chat — that he would be willing to compromise on the plan, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. Many Trump supporters might assume the GOP presidential candidate intends to send some 11 million of these folks packing, with many or most never to return. This could be a brutal and oppressive process. And expensive.

But as my colleague Marc Thiessen has pointed out, what Trump really has been proposing is something that might eventually allow almost all to eventually get permanent legal status here in America.

Here is an example of Trump talking about his deportation plan:

I would get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal…. A lot of these people are helping us … and sometimes it’s jobs a citizen of the United States doesn’t want to do. I want to move ’em out, and we’re going to move ’em back in and let them be legal.

And Thiessen:

This is a policy called “touchback” and it was first proposed in 2007 by moderate Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX). She offered a “touchback” amendment on the Senate floor that would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries to apply for a special “Z visa” that would allow them to re-enter the United States in an expedited fashion and work here indefinitely….

The fact is, Trump won’t need a “deportation force” or an “Operation Wetback” to get illegal immigrants to go home — because he has promised that they can return quickly with legal status.… Under his plan, illegal aliens don’t have to go to the end of the line behind those who have complied with our immigration laws. They get an “expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.” They get to cut the line and then stay in America.… Trump’s plan is in fact a form of amnesty — you just have to leave the country briefly to get it.

But would the undocumented even have to leave the country? Here is an interesting scenario outlined by Scott Adams, who has been uncannily accurate in forecasting the Trump phenomenon:

But what about Trump’s statement that they “have to go.” Trump makes it sound like he is going to physically move illegals to Mexico. But here’s a way to finesse it.

Using the embassy model, the U.S. could pass a law that makes temporary Mexican embassies out of individual rooms in government buildings near every community. That way an illegal can drive to the Post Office (for example), go into the “Mexico room” and be back in Mexico, legally speaking. Then we process that illegal immigrant’s paperwork and make him a citizen … .

I mean, who knows? As Edward Luce argues in the Financial Times today, ” …not having policies is also Mr Trump’s greatest strength. It makes him nimble.” Perhaps we’ll find out if Trump supporters possess a fine appreciation for political nimbleness.

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  1. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I’ve been saying from the first that Trump’s threat to deport would end in amnesty of a sort.  He won’t be able to round millions up, so, unless he adopts e verify and hires enough people to enforce it, he’ll induce them to turn themselves in in exchange for legal status.  Then once it becomes clear that we can’t get them to go to their country of origin  and apply in our consulates, we’ll adjust their status with a fine and a police clearance.   Some things are determined by the reality on the ground.  This is one of them.  China trade is another that will be determined by reality, at least we can hope he’ll pay attention to reality.

    • #1
  2. TKC1101 Member
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    James Pethokoukis: That statement yesterday comes after BuzzFeed’s editor suggested Trump told New York Times editors — in an off-the-record chat — that he would be willing to compromise on the plan, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.

    So you had to join in this chain of  strategically timed bit of journalistic integrity on display.  Journolist still working?

    • #2
  3. Mike LaRoche Member
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    TKC1101:

    James Pethokoukis: That statement yesterday comes after BuzzFeed’s editor suggested Trump told New York Times editors — in an off-the-record chat — that he would be willing to compromise on the plan, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.

    So you had to join in this chain of strategically timed bit of journalistic integrity on display. Journolist still working?

    For some reason, I’m reminded of this scene from Spaceballs:

    • #3
  4. M.P. Member
    M.P.
    @MP

    As a pretty extreme border hawk myself, I’ve said all along that Trump is a fraud on immigration. Anyone who has actually paid attention to what he is saying realizes he has no real plan and has frequently signaled his intention to implement touchback amnesty and to compromise on immigration.

    Keep in mind, this is the guy whose first reaction to the “Syrian refugee” issue was to declare America needed to take in more refugees, before realizing that was an unpopular position with his own base and backtracking to a “No Muslims Allowed” plan.

    What Trump has done is take two of Hillary’s biggest weak spots: illegal immigration and taking bribes from wealthy donors, and turned them into non-issues that the GOP cannot use against her in the general if he is the nominee. How can a guy who is on record boasting about bribing Democrat politicians attack Hillary for taking his bribes? Fixing immigration has been made toxic–either intentionally or due to incompetence and stupidity–by Donald Trump.

    In the incredibly unlikely circumstance that immigration is still an issue for Hillary in the general, she can easily move to the center and say she is in favor of building a wall and of coming up with legal status for DREAMers, which is essentially Trump’s plan. Trump can’t run further to the right during the general without losing, and if Hillary effectively co-opts his sole position then his only alleged “strength” is neutralized. It won’t even matter if Hillary is telling the truth or not, because the open borders Lefties will know she’s got their back, so they will keep supporting her.

    Meanwhile, Trump will be running as the guy who wants to raise taxes, supports government-run healthcare and is okay with funding for Planned Parenthood. Debates between him and Hillary will basically be Trump selling Hillary’s positions, but in a terrible, insulting and incompetent way that will alienate voters.

    • #4
  5. M.P. Member
    M.P.
    @MP

    TKC1101: So you had to join in this chain of strategically timed bit of journalistic integrity on display. Journolist still working?

    He’s on record as supporting amnesty. He’s on record saying he will compromise on immigration in the general election.

    I look forward to your cries of angst when it finally becomes impossible for you to lie to yourself about who he is. I also eagerly anticipate your furious denunciations of him as a sellout and traitor when he loses badly in November.

    • #5
  6. Mike LaRoche Member
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    • #6
  7. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    As said above, many figured this out day one. 11 million out, the good back in?

    If elected he will realize this can be done by reporting to the Post Office and registering there to save money.

    He will then congratulate himself on saving billions on deportation travel. He hinted this with the NYTimes interview. Check that deportation thing off.

    Next!

    The wall. Mexico has agreed not to export butterflies. This will save 10,000 Amrican butterfly jobs. That equals $2 billion, the price of the wall. Check that off.

    Next!

    • #7
  8. Frozen Chosen Member
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    TKC1101:

    James Pethokoukis: That statement yesterday comes after BuzzFeed’s editor suggested Trump told New York Times editors — in an off-the-record chat — that he would be willing to compromise on the plan, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.

    So you had to join in this chain of strategically timed bit of journalistic integrity on display. Journolist still working?

    Perhaps you could have Trump detail his brilliant plan, then, so we know how he’s going to accomplish his objective.

    What’s that you say?  There is no plan?  Why should there be, I guess, when he can get folks like yourself to believe anything he says without any details whatsoever.

    • #8
  9. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it.  Guess my membership card got lost in the mail.  When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    • #9
  10. Mike LaRoche Member
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Joseph Stanko:

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    Wish mine would get lost in the mail.  I quit four years ago, but the RNC won’t stop sending them!

    • #10
  11. Frozen Chosen Member
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Joseph Stanko:

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    You have to realize, Joseph, that the Trump supporter’s vocabulary consists of the words establishment, RINO and betrayal.  They cannot speak without uttering one or all of those words.

    Incidentally, it’s why Trump has zero details for any of his “policies” – he doesn’t want to confuse his supporters with too many words.

    • #11
  12. Severely Ltd. Member
    Severely Ltd.
    @SeverelyLtd

    James Pethokoukis: ” …not having policies is also Mr Trump’s greatest strength. It makes him nimble.”

    ‘Nimble’ would like to make a statement.

    “Never before have I been forced to represent so many, frankly, questionable qualities. No dictionary that I’m aware of has me covering definitions better suited to duplicitous and deceitful. This is outrageous (OED: Grossly offensive, shocking, disgraceful). Thank you.”

    • #12
  13. TKC1101 Member
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    So situation ethics are okay for our side but easily used against the other side. Yeah, fine.

    Forget Trump for just a second. This is different

    I care about one more tradition that was held to for the good of the press and the people who read the stuff going down the tubes for a very cheap expediency.  It was of high value and sold for a pittance.

    All the yammer about the decline of the culture and someone throws a useful tradition on the fire and the same crowd screams in joy.

    I think the Conserve has left the movement. You are just the “Atives” now.

    • #13
  14. M.P. Member
    M.P.
    @MP

    Joseph Stanko: Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    The Establishment Conspiracy is evidently so pernicious that those who belong to it don’t even know they are members!

    You’re welcome to join me in a virtual cocktail party. I even have a recipe:

    “Establishment Tears”

    • 7 parts bitters
    • 1 part Scotch
    • Mix together in highball glass. Throw out. Down rest of Scotch while saying “President Hillary Rodham Clinton” to self over and over until you pass out.
    • #14
  15. Frozen Chosen Member
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    TKC1101:So situation ethics are okay for our side but easily used against the other side. Yeah, fine.

    Forget Trump for just a second. This is different

    I care about one more tradition that was held to for the good of the press and the people who read the stuff going down the tubes for a very cheap expediency. It was of high value and sold for a pittance.

    All the yammer about the decline of the culture and someone throws a useful tradition on the fire and the same crowd screams in joy.

    I think the Conserve has left the movement. You are just the “Atives” now.

    I have no idea what you just said

    • #15
  16. Mike LaRoche Member
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Frozen Chosen:

    Joseph Stanko:

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    You have to realize, Joseph, that the Trump supporter’s vocabulary consists of the words establishment, RINO and betrayal. They cannot speak without uttering one or all of those words.

    Incidentally, it’s why Trump has zero details for any of his “policies” – he doesn’t want to confuse his supporters with too many words.

    Reckon I should reply to this comment, but I are too dum to reed it!

    • #16
  17. Quake Voter Member
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    I am amazed that Pethokoukos, Kissel and the whole American Action Forum crowd have managed to restrain themselves to the “brutal and oppressive” meme.

    Of course we can enforce a veritable Borges Babel Library of regulations against US citizens.

    But a simple test of citizenship or legal residency for illegal aliens:  BRUTAL and OPPRESSIVE.

    How long until the R word is added?

    For Rubio’s sake, all of you painfully conflicted immigration romanticists should really just stop typing for two months.

    The Jack Haley ears on this issue are astounding.

    • #17
  18. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @TylerBoliver

    Joseph Stanko:

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    It’s amazing how people who believe in conservatism, and helped build the Tea Party to challenge the GOP, are now being called “Establishment” because we refuse to support Trump.

    • #18
  19. Bkelley14 Member
    Bkelley14
    @Bkelley14

    I heard Mary Kissel from the WSJ mention this on the J. Batchelor podcast this morning — from the American Action Forum website:

    “The American Action Forum (@AAF) examined recent proposals by some of the presidential candidates to remove the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States within two years. The AAF research found it will cost $100-$300 billion to implement, and require a minimum of 17,296 chartered flights and 30,701 chartered bus trips each year. Additionally, the federal government would need to increase federal immigration apprehension personnel from 4,844 to 90,582; increase immigration courts from 58 to 1,316; and increase the number of federal attorneys from 1,430 to 32,445. Lastly, AAF also found that the proposal would slow U.S. economic growth by $1 trillion.”

    • #19
  20. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Tyler Boliver: It’s amazing how people who believe in conservatism, and helped build the Tea Party to challenge the GOP, are now being called “Establishment” because we refuse to support Trump.

    Anyone who refuses to support the revolution is ipso facto a reactionary and a class traitor.

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Some accurate information would be really helpful to the electorate.

    I was curious to know how many are just visa overstayers. It is somewhere between 33 and 50 percent. 

    Those are very easy deportations, were we able to track them down. These people probably don’t present humanitarian issues, and they have homes to go back to.

    That leaves us with only 5 to 6 million. Of those, many have been here for so long, as GW said so poignantly, they have put roots down. A path to citizenship would be welcome in the minds of most Americans, as long as the problem were not continuing to worsen.

    The problems seem to be conducive to effective management solutions.

    Still, the American taxpayers who give the federal government so much money to spend on security issues have every right to want this problem solved. They have been tolerant and generous in giving their hard-earned dollars toward our protection from foreign terrorists and criminals.

    It is time to revamp the immigration system so James of England doesn’t have to pay thousands of dollars and wait years to become a U.S. citizen while millions of people have dodged those laws and get to reside here indefinitely.

    • #21
  22. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    Tyler Boliver: It’s amazing how people who believe in conservatism, and helped build the Tea Party to challenge the GOP, are now being called “Establishment” because we refuse to support Trump.

    What’s really amazing is that Trump took that media label, that the Tea Party was nativist and xenophobic and racist, and made it so.

    Remember when the Tea Party was about taxes, and not passing Obamacare in the middle of the night, on Christmas Eve?

    Now Trump has the movement the Democrats and media tried to tell everyone was what the Tea Party was about.

    And people who just wanted to have less government and not have bills passed recklessly are on the outside looking in.

    In so many ways the Democrats did this.  I know the popular thing is to blame Republicans, but it is darn hard to stop a President with both houses of Congress and the media on his side.  And even when you have the Congress, that combination of media/executive is very powerful.  I’m not saying they are perfect, but, it’s just not that easy.

    Hopefully, if we distance ourselves from Trump we can keep the Senate and then oppose him and make him powerless.  We should at very least have some media help.

    Or do the same to Hillary, though, Clintons have always been willing to deal.

    • #22
  23. M.P. Member
    M.P.
    @MP

    Tyler Boliver: It’s amazing how people who believe in conservatism, and helped build the Tea Party to challenge the GOP, are now being called “Establishment” because we refuse to support Trump.

    Every revolution has the potential to consume its own. Even the good revolutions. That’s because all revolutions are built on a certain amount of anger and unrest, and, if those at its head are insufficiently vigilant, demagogic con men can slip in and turn that anger and unrest to their advantage. However, to wield power they must first take down those at the head of the movement they have co-opted. This is why Stalin liquidated so many of his fellow Communists.

    Since the dawn of the Trumpenreich, I’ve been accused of being a RINO or “Establishment” on a daily basis. This despite the fact I have never been a Republican in my life and that I was a strong supporter of the Tea Party until I started hearing so many fellow “conservatives” tell me that we can’t reform Social Security or Medicare because “I earned that money and it’s mine.”

    With all the wild accusations of “RINO!” and “Establishment!” and “GOPe!” being thrown around, it’s easy to forget that when you’re living with authoritarian mob rule it’s the accusation that matters, not the truth. See: Karl Lueger’s “I decide who is a Jew.”

    • #23
  24. TKC1101 Member
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Frozen Chosen:

    TKC1101:So situation ethics are okay for our side but easily used against the other side. Yeah, fine.

    Forget Trump for just a second. This is different

    I care about one more tradition that was held to for the good of the press and the people who read the stuff going down the tubes for a very cheap expediency. It was of high value and sold for a pittance.

    All the yammer about the decline of the culture and someone throws a useful tradition on the fire and the same crowd screams in joy.

    I think the Conserve has left the movement. You are just the “Atives” now.

    I have no idea what you just said

    Okay. “Off The Record” was like the Hippocratic oath of journalism. It meant what it said. It has never been used even in the worst and most vicious campaigns because it allowed journalism to work.

    It was one of those quaint old fashioned things, like the bill of rights, or jury duty, or due process.

    It is the last bullet in a free press. Now, it is complete info warfare. Comcast versus Murdoch versus Carlos Slim.  No rules, just ratings and bloodsport.

    Enjoy it.

    • #24
  25. J. Martin Rogers Member
    J. Martin Rogers
    @

    Tyler Boliver:

    Joseph Stanko:

    Mike LaRoche:I anticipate bathing in Establishment GOP tears this evening.

    Turns out I was part of the Establishment all this time and I never even knew it. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail. When do I start getting invited to these cocktail parties I keep hearing about?

    It’s amazing how people who believe in conservatism, and helped build the Tea Party to challenge the GOP, are now being called “Establishment” because we refuse to support Trump.

    It seemed like just a couple of years ago I was labeled a “radical” for questioning why the Feds couldn’t be restrained to spend what they took in.  But now if you question a candidate that wants to grow the government unchecked your “Establishment.”  Which is it, am I a radical or the establishment. I can’t be both.

    • #25
  26. Frozen Chosen Member
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    TKC1101:

    Frozen Chosen:

    TKC1101:So situation ethics are okay for our side but easily used against the other side. Yeah, fine.

    Forget Trump for just a second. This is different

    I care about one more tradition that was held to for the good of the press and the people who read the stuff going down the tubes for a very cheap expediency. It was of high value and sold for a pittance.

    All the yammer about the decline of the culture and someone throws a useful tradition on the fire and the same crowd screams in joy.

    I think the Conserve has left the movement. You are just the “Atives” now.

    I have no idea what you just said

    Okay. “Off The Record” was like the Hippocratic oath of journalism. It meant what it said. It has never been used even in the worst and most vicious campaigns because it allowed journalism to work.

    It was one of those quaint old fashioned things, like the bill of rights, or jury duty, or due process.

    It is the last bullet in a free press. Now, it is complete info warfare. Comcast versus Murdoch versus Carlos Slim. No rules, just ratings and bloodsport.

    Enjoy it.

    Understood.

    • #26
  27. Quake Voter Member
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Bkelley14: “The American Action Forum (@AAF) examined recent proposals by some of the presidential candidates to remove the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States within two years. The AAF research found it will cost $100-$300 billion to implement, and require a minimum of 17,296 chartered flights and 30,701 chartered bus trips each year. Additionally, the federal government would need to increase federal immigration apprehension personnel from 4,844 to 90,582; increase immigration courts from 58 to 1,316; and increase the number of federal attorneys from 1,430 to 32,445. Lastly, AAF also found that the proposal would slow U.S. economic growth by $1 trillion.

    Do you find these figures to be compelling.  Are you impressed by the precision ($100-300 Billion!) or persuaded by any common sense?

    If 12 million existing aliens contribute $1 trillion to our economy (which would make illegal aliens 50% more valuable per capita than citizens) then I guess importing 12 million more illegals would add another $1 trillion; 24 million more would add $2 trillion?

    For transparency, let’s stipulate that AAF is not only opposed to Trump’s mumbo jumbo plan, or Cruz’s latest plan (dragged kicking and screaming out of him by Bill O’Reilly) or Rubio’s pixie dust.  AAF opposes any increase in enforcement at the border, supports massive increases in H1Bs and H2Bs and sees tremendous economic value in German levels of refugee settlement in the US.

    • #27
  28. Carol Member
    Carol
    @

    I don’t really get why everyone talks about the expense of deporting 12 million illegals. What about mandatory E Verify, strictly enforced, and throwing a couple of CEO’s in jail? On this as on many other things Romney was right- if they can’t get work they will go home.

    • #28
  29. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    James Pethokoukis:Trump-Shrug

    But as my colleague Marc Thiessen has pointed out, what Trump really has been proposing is something that might eventually allow almost all to eventually get permanent legal status here in America.

    Here is an example of Trump talking about his deportation plan:

    I would get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal…. A lot of these people are helping us … and sometimes it’s jobs a citizen of the United States doesn’t want to do. I want to move ’em out, and we’re going to move ’em back in and let them be legal.

    And Thiessen:

    This is a policy called “touchback” and it was first proposed in 2007 by moderate Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX). She offered a “touchback” amendment on the Senate floor that would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries to apply for a special “Z visa” that would allow them to re-enter the United States in an expedited fashion and work here indefinitely….

    The fact is, Trump won’t need a “deportation force” or an “Operation Wetback” to get illegal immigrants to go home — because he has promised that they can return quickly with legal status.… Under his plan, illegal aliens don’t have to go to the end of the line behind those who have complied with our immigration laws. They get an “expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.” They get to cut the line and then stay in America.… Trump’s plan is in fact a form of amnesty — you just have to leave the country briefly to get it.

    But would the undocumented even have to leave the country? Here is an interesting scenario outlined by Scott Adams, who has been uncannily accurate in forecasting the Trump phenomenon:

    But what about Trump’s statement that they “have to go.” Trump makes it sound like he is going to physically move illegals to Mexico. But here’s a way to finesse it.

    Using the embassy model, the U.S. could pass a law that makes temporary Mexican embassies out of individual rooms in government buildings near every community. That way an illegal can drive to the Post Office (for example), go into the “Mexico room” and be back in Mexico, legally speaking. Then we process that illegal immigrant’s paperwork and make him a citizen … .

    Thiessen, Schmiessen.  Adams, Schmadams.

    I, and many others have been saying that this sort of scenario is likely for months.

    Yet another sincere question for Trump supporters:  What do you think about the fact that Trump’s  position of “send ’em all home!” is probably just a mirage which will quickly get subsumed in the ‘deal?’

    Will you be troubled at all if that’s the case?

    Please confine your answers to Trump and the issue at hand, not what other people have/might have done/said.

    • #29
  30. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Trump supporters are getting played. Trump will deliver amnesty.

    On the other hand, the Trump detractors are hysterical.

    Trump has no real goals other than getting elected President. He will not be the end of the America, he will not be the end of the Republican party. Trump will be a great big nothingburger. I doubt if he wins the Presidency he will even run for a second term. He will be bored, and will want to parlay his presidency into actual cash like the Clinton’s did.

    • #30

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