Heigh-ho the Merry-oh, Deporting We Will Go

Interesting times, methinks. We have Mr. Trump, per the Washington Examiner,  vowing to rid the country of illegal immigrants by rounding them up, storing them in concentration camps, and deporting them at “millions per year.”

Saith Mr. Trump to the Conservative Political Action Conference,  “Under my leadership, we will use all necessary state, local, federal, and military resources to carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history,” Trump told the CPAC audience Saturday. “We will pick them up, and we will throw them out of our country, and there will be no questions asked…The first reconciliation bill I will sign will be for a massive increase in border patrol and a colossal increase in the number of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] deportation officers…Other countries are emptying out their prisons, insane asylums, and mental institutions and sending all of their problems right into their dumping ground.”

Wow. Can he do it, one wonders, or is he just grandstanding for his base? Will he try?  Quite possibly, I will guess. Last time, he promised to build The Wall, gave it a truly heroic effort, and built some of it. How will this new promise go? How will it play with the electorate?

A preliminary question is how many illegals are in America? Counting them is difficult since they usually have no desire to be counted. Various statistical approaches exist, none conclusive, and all suspected of political bias. We will here assume a number between ten and twenty million, probably closer to fifteen. Deporting “millions a year” plural, means at least two million a year. If there are even twelve million illegals, this will take six years.

Now, the camps into which millions of illegals would be stuffed. Presumably the camps would be built on federal land, most likely out west, but I am only guessing. Could they be gotten through Congress and the Supreme Court? It doesn’t seem likely but maybe. They would be huge, expensive both to build and to operate, and require water, sewerage, and food. Physically possible certainly, but perhaps a hard political sell.

And a PR nightmare. The media would focus night after night on the lack of schools, the primitive conditions, etc. There would be comparisons with the Holocaust, despite the lack of resemblance. There would be strident allusions to the Japanese Americans interned during WWII. I don’t see how they could be forced through, but maybe.

Is Mr.Trump overguessing the popularity of massive deportations?  Perhaps not. A lot of support exists for closing the border and, at least among those who haven’t thought carefully, for ejecting illegals. The angrier of Mr.Trump’s supporters will favor concentration camps.  But would the moderately supportive? Closing the border is one thing, putting millions in camps another.

Worth pondering is how Congress would respond to Mr. Trump’s desired policies.  We do not live in 1954. The at least sixty million Latinos wield votes, and Congress knows it. While many Latinos favor closing the border to avoid competition and political heat, deporting ten or fifteen million might not fly with them. Blacks? They are not fond of Latinos, but might think, “Latinos today and tomorrow, us.” This doesn’t make a lot of sense, but in racial politics making sense seldom matters.

Again, one certainty as sure as gravitation: The effort would be a media disaster.  Nightly, over and over, nonstop, we would see the second-grade children of illegals dragged crying from school to be trucked off to the camps. They would be encouraged to sob theatrically for the cameras, though little encouragement would be needed. They would mostly be American citizens, unless Mr. Trump managed to end birthright citizenship retroactively. Ths would not be likely. There would be cases of the Mexican man married to the white wife, neither she nor the children being Mexican citizens. It would be a bloodbath by media opposed to Mr. Trump, the only kind of media there are.

To where will the two million a year be deported? Since they are almost all Latin Americans, we might presume that Latin America would get them.  A fair prediction though is that no country of the region would want them. How do you force, say, Peru to accept large numbers of deportees who are not its citizens? The available approaches are economic sanctions or military force. Either might work for all I know.

Of course the most likely receptacle is Mexico. Deportees, Mexican citizens or not, could be forced across the border at bayonet point. Mexico would have no hope of resisting either the American military or economic pressure.

Mexico also has no capacity to absorb millions of refugees. The result would be a humanitarian disaster of starvation and shelterlessness. This would not distress Mr.Trump,. or he would not propose it. The same is true of Mr. Trump’s more ardent supporters. How the American public at  large would react to the nightly network video of children crying for food is an open question. My guess, perhaps wrong, is that most Americans would not stand for it.

Among dedicated anti-immigrants, deporting the Dacans is a high priority. These are Latinos, mostly Mexican, who crossed into America illegally as children. They are now legal, being in the country with the knowledge and permission of the federal government. Mr. Trump wants to throw them out as criminals, though this embodies the curious notion that a baby in its mother’s arms can commit a federal crime. Ejecting them would be easier than in the case of illegals since they tend to have jobs and families and thus are easily found. Deporting them might work, though their employers and perhaps neighbors might object.

Rounding up two million illegals a year would make obvious an overarching problem with the whole program, which is that a great many Americans don’t want illegals deported. For example, many businesses, including hotels, restaurants, agriculture, and construction, depend on immigrant labor, much of it illegal. The owners of a construction firm out West once put it to me succinctly: Blacks are terrible workers, don’t show up, have bad attitudes, and do poor work. Whites don’t want the work at rates the company  could pay. Illegal Mexicans show up, do good work, and appreciate the employment. The company, the owners told me, could not survive without them. Citrus growers in Florida tell the same story.

All of these businessmen, note, are Republicans.

The mechanics of the rounding-up seem problematic. The most obvious way I suppose would be to have the police surround an enterprise, such as a slaughterhouse, knowing that ninety percent of its workers are illegals. and carry them off in handcuffs. The slaughterhouse would then be  in effect closed, losing lots of money, and the supermarkets not getting meat. Repeated over many industries, this would create a lot of moneyed blowback, mostly by  Republicans.

Worth noting is that laws exist against hiring illegals and they carry heavy penalties. They simply are not enforced. A meat-packing company with several slaughterhouses might well be RICO bait. Nobody says anything.

Another approach I suppose would be for the Army or vastly expanded police forces to walk through Latino neighborhoods in the cities, grabbing people and demanding birth certificates or naturalization papers. People seldom carry these. Or cops could knock on doors and demand to search the house, ignoring the Constitution. Use of the military, threatened by Mr. Trump, is unconstitutional.

To judge by history many citizens, both Latino and white, would refuse to cooperate with the cops, or soldiers. In many regions, relations between immigrants and locals are not bad. The warehouse operator for whom illegal Pedro has worked for twelve years, and now runs the night shift, is unlikely to hand over a valued employee because some meddlesome bureaucrat demands it.  Think California, which has more Latinos than whites, generally getting along well. The existence of “sanctuary” states and cities that protect illegals from deportation is another indicator of the non-universal support for ejection.

While Mr. Trump might say that there is nothing racial in his policies, that he is just enforcing the existing laws, it would instantly be seen as racial. Biden has done much to engender racial hostility between white and black, and Mr. Trump would create similar enmity between Latinos and whites. How this will promote the domestic tranquility is not clear.

I think the consequence of attempting to deport illegals on such a scale would be to throw the country into the worst crisis it has ever experienced without deporting much of anybody. Of course, I have noticed that what I think does not control the workings of the universe, doubtless a cosmic oversight of some sort. Still, it might be a good idea to think things through before undertaking them. Granted, this would be a break with tradition, but a little adventure spices up life.








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Comments 39

  • Why stop there? We’re all illegal immigrants who stole the land from the Indians.

    And they stole it from the mammoths and sabertooth tigers during the last ice age.

  • Why stop there? We’re all illegal immigrants who stole the land from the Indians.

    And they stole it from the mammoths and sabertooth tigers during the last ice age.

  • I mean, if one is going to do away with the Constitution and the rule of law, why bother with the camps? Gunning them down in the streets would only be a slightly worse PR disaster than the camps would be, and one could shoot the meddlesome click-bait peddlers while one is at it, as well.

    • You mean like Isrealhell does to the Palestinians?

      • No, Israel already has many Palestinians in camps (in Gaza strip), they do not need to gun them down in the street, bombing them is more effective.

        Of course, there are still many left in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but demolishing their homes seems quite effective in removing them, with only sporadic gunning down in the streets.

  • It’s possible to deport many illegals and we should start the process. It’s that simple.

  • Every candidate is selling their version of The Great Pretend. There are groups that buy each version. I’m wondering who sees the reality, that being what I believe to be true.
    I know these new illegal people are not leaving.
    I know what those who have constructed this invasion expected will not happen and we will get unexpected pleasant and unpleasant surprises.
    I know we can’t go back to the good old or bad old days. We are going to create something new out of chaos and I have no idea if it will be better or worse, most likely both.
    I know red wine goes better with chaos. But white wine will do.

  • Physical force unneeded. Tax the hundreds of thousands remittances to people in Mexico.
    Collect the names and details of senders.
    Compel welfare and other entitlement recipients to prove citizenship, stop payments if unproved.
    Deport incarcerated felons, halt any financial support they receive.
    Ditto any Covid/unemployment fraudulent collection.
    Not ALL will be deported but significant amount of taxpayer funding will be decreased.

  • In America, we all must daily answer to the call to prayer, to kowtow to the overlords who endlessly preach diversity and equality. We all know there are no distinctions between civilized people and murderers, thieves, perverts, and terrorists. It’s racist to see distinctions. We must flood the country with scammers, drug dealers, and parasites from failed third world countries — we are all the same. We should all join hands, celebrate queers, rainbows, and the diversity of crayons.

  • Yes it could work wonderfully, AND there does not have to be a humanitarian disaster. We can easily provide food, and funds for those who we deport. Along with a mandatory FELONY conviction if they enter illegally again. We can also provide a pathway to legal citizenship. My ancestors waited 9 years for the USA to approve their immigration. We need to import the best, kick out the criminals, and get on with our lives.

    • Yes, a jail term where we release from prison the axe murderers, child molesters and serial rapists to make room for the illegal immigrants.

  • I think it is fine if they are here for the most part. We simply need to stop them from receiving welfare, and from voting until they apply for and attain citizenship lawfully. As for the criminals, the law could treat them the same as citizen criminals unless the prisons are already full of marijuana smokers and people who dare to criticize the government, in which case just deport them.

  • Trump’s greatest flaw was proving that the US president is a figurehead. Three times someone said, ‘The US military are bringing peace and democracy to Syria.’ Two times, Trump said, ‘I order every US military person out of Syria. This will save us lots of money and balance the budget.’
    The first time, they told him, ‘Never say that again.’
    The second time, many of his appointees resigned saying, ‘We can’t work for an idiot who does not understand what the job of president really is.’
    The third time they told him, ‘Look, we are NOT bringing peace and democracy to Syria, we’re stealing their oil. This is not costing the US one ¢, this is making us a lot of money. Now order the US military to bring peace and democracy to Syria.’
    So Trump said, ‘The US military in Syria isn’t costing the US one ¢, we’re stealing all their oil, this is making the US a LOT of money. I order the US military to stay in Syria and steal every drop of their oil.’

  • “Latinos today and tomorrow, us.”

    Yeah and Whites starting the day LBJ was elected in ’64.

    Bottom line… Who would YOU rather have as President?
    Trump or Biden/NoBama?

  • “Use of the military, threatened by Mr. Trump, is unconstitutional.”

    If there’s any part of the Constitution that prohibits use of the military for domestic law enforcement, I am unaware of it. There’s Posse Comitatus, but that’s a statutory law.

  • We actually have only two choices. Let Trump…or someone else…deal with the issue by finding a way to get rid of millions of illegal invader welfare leaches, or surrender. Allow the millions of parasites to stay, committing crimes with near impunity and sucking the economic life out of the country. There is no third choice. Will the media excoriate anyone dealing with the problem while beatifying the criminal invaders? Without a doubt. The media is now nothing but the propaganda arm of the American Communist Party formerly the Dems. Both the left and their media whores hate America an want to destroy it. Importing millions of violent parasites is a good way to facilitate that goal. I say give Trump, or someone else who is willing a chance. How can deporting millions of violent parasites ever be a bad thing. The nasty reality is we are probably past the point of no return. America is so far in debt, so politically and socially divided that collapse is inevitable. But the millions of parasitic invaders we are burdened with will make the coming sh*t show much much worse than it might otherwise be.

  • There is precedence for mass deportation programs in America.

    During the Great Depression President Hoover allegedly deported about half a million illegal aliens to make jobs for American workers (don’t know the actual number). After WW II President Truman allegedly formally deported about 150,000 illegal aliens but reportedly another 3.5 million left the US under pressure rather than be deported. His objective was to make jobs for returning WW II veterans and in 1955 President Eisenhower allegedly deported up to 1.5 million illegal aliens to make room for returning veterans from the Korean war. There was a need for those deportations and a willing American population supported the deportation programs.

    America is different today with some 15+ million illegal aliens within our borders and worse many high-ranking politicians unwilling to enforce existing immigration law. Those politicians should be prosecuted to the limits of the law but that will never happen. I don’t think our immigration system is broken just not enforced.

    Moreover, it seems that America is not nearly as “law abiding” as she was in the 1940s and 50s. While making jobs for the growing number of homeless in America through deportation has a good sound, that crowd of “down and out” Americans consisting mainly of bums and drug addicts would probably severely lack the motivation and hard work shown by many illegals. That may be especially true since the “down and out” crowd seem to live nicely according to their own standards except for real estate.

    Nevertheless, the horses are out of the barn, the dogs out of the pen and the chickens out of the coop – and all within the CONUS. Even with camps and concentrated deportation programs, it is unlikely that nowhere close to all the 15+ million could ever be deported – even with superhuman Trump motivation. Perhaps a total of 2 to 3 million over a period of several years may be more likely. And as Fred aptly points out where are we going to send all the illegals – certainly not all to Mexico. Deportation to the country of origin is the only answer. The more serious problem seems to be the military age men coming in illegally from China, the Middle East and other hostile countries that could combine as sleeper cells and work hard to destroy America from within.

    From the window from which I see the world, it appears to me that Joe Biden and his high-level Democrat Lieutenants just plain don’t give a damn about illegal immigration and hope it will provide more Democrat votes once a mass citizenship is declared for illegals. I wonder constantly how in the name of common sense and even with a basic American patriotism can our President not protect the sovereignty of our country and continue to get away with it? Safeguarding the citizens of America seems to be one of the chief responsibilities of any US President. Without sovereignty we will soon have no country.

    Nothing stays the same and nothing goes back to the old days the way things were. America must pick up the pieces of a badly broken illegal immigration system/population and go on to the future by the following:

    Finishing the wall to the South and sealing all the holes are a good start then fortify the wall with US military with orders to shoot violators if necessary as well as defending our Southern border with war on the cartels supplying deadly drugs. We don’t have to invade Mexico — just protect our borders from the Cartels. Arrangements can certainly be worked out with the Mexican government. Defend the Northern, Eastern and Western borders as well. Of course, we welcome all legal Hispanic immigrants and even those long-term illegals who have become productive citizens – America needs them. We can’t throw out the baby with the bath water. All illegals are not bad for America just too many coming in hordes is bad. We have a good legal system for immigration that has worked well for years – USE IT!

    Stop restricting border states from protecting their own borders. After the borders are CLOSED… then start with a reasonable program of identification of illegal aliens for deportation. I would imagine that places like New York City and Chicago could and would gladly produce many illegals for deportation.

    Any program to fix the broken immigration must have leadership which President Trump will have in ample supply. We have had NO LEADERSHIP for the previous two + years. While there is NO WAY Trump can deport all illegals he can and will certainly make a dent in that population. In the meantime, a solid STOP to illegals crossing our borders for the present would be a welcomed relief from the lack of leadership America has had from the Democrat Party.


  • No benefits, no healthcare, no schooling, no housing, no jobs unless you’re legal.

    Either starve or self-deport.

    No need to round ’em up. Just make it very expensive for employers and landlords to violate this.

  • To Steve Donelan-Stop repeating the old canard about how all the land was stolen from the indians. They only had a tiny fraction of the country. To Tony Brunet-Your comment is irrelevant as well proving you are 50% ignorant, 50% stupid, 100% a scummy anti-Semite. You get a whopping 200% for what a POS you are, for multiple reasons.

    Re Fred’s well presented arguments on both sides, congrats.

  • Seems there is a lot of support among the respondents for deporting those that people dislike. I admire to democratic civil spirit that is clearly at work here.

    My review: a great article, Fred. You point out both sides, and the sheer impossibility of doing what Trump would like to do. And, from a European point of view, anyone casually talking about concentration camps is clearly demented and fascist. We saw concentration camps over here; you don’t want to have them again. And internment camps, such as those for the Japanese Americans in WW2, were not such a great idea either.

  • Get rid of the oppressive tax and regulatory burden suffered here and the economy will take off like a skyrocket. There will be so many jobs open up no one will care how many illegals we have doing housekeeping and gardening. The exports from the USA will boom and be competitive on the world market. Red China will have to go back to making ceramic dolls and plates or get their foot off the neck of their people.

  • I’ve watched you for the last 12 years. Long before you returned to the US, you lived in Mexico spouting your venom. You are a true hypocrite.

  • Stop ALL Federal, State, City, or Organized Charity welfare and subsidies paid to illegals, including food stamps. Make it a crime to pay out any type of free lunch to a non-citizen. Will not impact people who have jobs. Not hard to do, it isn’t like these aliens are picking up their dole out of a barrel of cash on the street corner. Offer a resettlement payment (with a tiny chip implant mandatory in every adult) and they will line up in droves, and, even tell you exactly where they came from to get the free ride back. If the home countries balk about taking back their citizens, they will be sanctioned out of existence or have to build a wall on any coastline the abuts their cities.
    p.s. If the chip shows up in USA territory afterward offer a bounty on the body that went with the chip. Not rocket science.

  • Telling the world we are closing the border to illegal immigration and will begin lawful deportations is a start. Actually building the wall, ending catch and release, deporting those illegals encountered by law enforcement inside the country, and targeting employers, will be step two. Just these few things will slow the flow northward. Note that I said nothing about legal immigration, which is a whole other steaming pile of bullshit to wade through. People who overstay their visa are also a huge part of the problem. What will it be? Open borders, new “D” voters, cheap labor, and an unknown percentage of criminals… or not?
    It boils down to this.
    Either we are a sovereign country with borders and laws, or we are not.

  • […] Heigh-ho the Merry-oh, Deporting We Will Go, by Fred Reed […]

  • You all seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that anyone cares. The sad reality is that brave words will be spoken, huzzahs will be exclaimed, but nothing will be change.

  • You all seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that anyone cares. The sad reality is that brave words will be spoken, huzzahs will be exclaimed, but nothing will change.

  • Biden caused it , Nobody doubts that ,or rather Biden O bama, the fact is that it should have been stopped when it started , ask Soros what to do, his plans seem to always work , contrary to anybody elses, surly dim wit Bidens never did!! We asked for it when we trusted the Democrat cry babies in the first place!!!

  • The answer is probably in the middle. We can’t deport them all so we choose. Convicted felons should go to the top of the list. Kicked back to their home country after doing their prison time here. If caught in the US again, a five year prison sentence and kicked out again.

    Next, remove those convicted of serious misdemeanors, especially any kind of government assistance fraud. It would be a form of eugenics.

    I just wish we could include some American citizens of any race on that list. If they are felons boot them out. But that would probably never fly.

  • Let’s make it short and sweet: Trump is not itching to screw his fellow billionaires. So expect some fuming—gaudy over-the-top fulminations to impress the rubes—and business as usual.

    • Yeah, this. I’ve never believed that Trump was serious about curbing immigration. Why should he be? He profits from cheap labor as much as any other business owner. Probably more than most, when you consider the demographics of the typical hotel housekeeping staff.

  • A simpler way.
    End all welfare benefits. Offer free rides home them bill.tjeir home countries for the costs. They won’t pay of course but there are ways to deal with that.

    You basically encourage them to deport themselves. The way it’s going with the US economy imploding they would probably be better off at home.
    For criminals. Well they will probably all stay in the blue cities anyway, much safer. The rednecks in my town are almost hoping they would come in and cause trouble.
    Prohibit drivers licenses, voting cards and school enrollment and any and all welfare benefits you probably won’t need camps.
    They are basically trespassers. Treat them as such.
    We can’t afford it. A society can only absorb so many maids, ditch diggers, hookers and drug dealers.

  • My wife’s family waited 12 years for a visa and it cost us thousands in expenses plus we had to sign an affidavit saying they would never be allowed to take public benefits.
    Whats good for the honest legal immigrants is good for the border jumpers.

  • A lot of people seem to be getting all puffed up with self-inflicted warm and fuzzy pseudo altruism over this little problem of illegal immigration.
    Firstly, it is a problem. A huge problem. As in, huge by the millions.
    Secondly, to claim that acknowledging this problem is “racist,” is to show a complete lack of comprehension of the problem, its “participants” and their justifications.
    Yes, we have borders. As do all countries. For a reason.

  • Ronald Reagan knew calling for tighter borders is a tried-and-true tactic of politicians unwilling to confront the realities of a growing illegal population.

    Sounds like Republicans today. All bark and no solutions. The Democrats have no solution either, but they don’t use the issue to whip up their base. Perhaps the problem is more valuable to the Republicans than a solution.

    And how did Reagan handle illegal immigrants? He gave them amnesty. He legalized them.

    “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally,” he said. Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter, said, “It was in Ronald Reagan’s bones — it was part of his understanding of America — that the country was fundamentally open to those who wanted to join us here.”

    Reagan’s own diaries show the president found the idea of a militantly staffed border fence difficult to take. In a private meeting with then-President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico in 1979, Reagan wrote that he hoped to discuss how the United States and Mexico could make the border “something other than the location for a fence.

    “He was a Californian,” Robinson says. “You couldn’t live in California … without encountering over and over and over again good, hard-working, decent people — clearly recent arrivals from Mexico.”

    Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act ultimately gave amnesty to about 2.9 million immigrant who entered illegally.

    Yet, the bill was largely considered a failure because it was stripped of the strict sanctions on employers. Why did the congress strip the sanctions against employers? Maybe because we need the labor and taxes and the contribution they make to the economy?

    During the debate in Congress, the bill’s sponsors ended up watering down the sanctions on employers to attract support from the business community. A major conceptual flaw in the bill was that the authors of the bill simply misjudged the high demand for immigrant labor in the United States. Congress didn’t foresee at the time that employers would want more immigrants in the years ahead,”

    Under the final law, all employers had to do to avoid sanctions was to make sure their workers had paperwork that “reasonably appears on its face to be genuine.” If the documents were decent fakes, that wasn’t the boss’s problem. In fact, employers were actually penalized if they scrutinized a worker’s nationality too aggressively.

    What’s more, industries such as agriculture, construction and landscaping often skirted the paperwork rules by relying on contractors and subcontractors. That made it easier for companies to maintain plausible deniability. In California, up to 80 percent of seasonal harvesting is done through contractors — and unauthorized immigrants are thought to make up a massive portion of the workforce.

    For the Americans who scream about communism this and socialism that, remember, this is your beloved, laissez faire, free market at work. The Republicans, the so called party of business, understands their donors (the constituents that they really work for) need the labor.

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