Trump’s Deportations: Bluster or Promise?

Donald Trump, always interesting if not obsessively cogent, says that he will deport perhaps twenty million illegal aliens if again elected. Can he? Legally, of course, Trump is in the right. The illegals are in the country illegally and the law clearly says that they may be deported.  Polls show that a great many Americans favor the idea. The question is one of practicality. Can ten or twenty millions actually be deported, given the realities, political, legal and social of today?

Supporters of deportation point to Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback in  1954 in which over a million illegal Mexicans were deported. It was done then, deportistas say, and can be done now. But…can it?

This is not 1954. Nineteen percent of the country consists of Latinos,  who outnumber whites  in California,  are an absolute majority in Texas, , have heavy support from the Democrat party, academia, the media, and wield economic and electoral  power. The great majority of Latinos are citizens. How all of this would play out in the face of mass deportation of illegals isn’t clear, but 1954 it  isn’t. For example, would California assist? Or resist?


While any one illegal can be deported, the legal and procedural hindrances seem so great as to make bulk ejection impractical. This manual, apparently written by an immigration’s attorney, gives detailed instructions to Latinos on how to handle ICE agents at work, at home, in public spaces, and so on. For example, you can request a lawyer, you have the right to remain silent, you specifically do not have to answer questions about your immigration’s status or country of origin, you can ask whether you are under arrest and if not, you can walk away. Example from manual:

“1  Know your rights during home visits. ICE agents generally need a warrant signed by a judge to enter your home. A warrant is a legal document that specifies the areas to be searched and the individuals or items to be seized. Ask the ICE agent to slide the warrant under the door or hold it up to a window, allowing you to inspect it. Make sure the warrant is signed by a judge and includes your correct address. If the ICE agent does not have a warrant, you have the right to refuse entry to your home. Politely but firmly inform them that you do not consent to the search.”

According to the ICE website, its agents need “probable cause” to make an arrest. This means approximately “information that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a specific person was committing a specific crime.”  It is unlikely that the courts will regard simply being Hispanic or speaking Spanish or both as probable cause. This seems to have been established by the Ninth Circuit in Galarza.  If we accept that 81 percent of Latinos in America are citizens, then arrests of Latinos based only on ethnicity would be wrong four times out of five. As cause goes, this isn’t too probable.

Mr. Trump has spoken of using the military to carry out sweeps to round up illegals. The army is seventeen percent Latino. Mr. Trump may be unaware of posse comitatus, which forbids the use of the military as police forces in America. The National Guard, when federalized, comes under posse comitatus. While there is some fuzz and there are murky exceptions in the act, the wording is pretty clear. How this could be finessed I don’t know, but it sounds like a matter for the Supreme Court and, I think for what that’s worth, a sure loss.

But one thing I promise: The military won’t like it. At all.  The armed forces have a long and wholesome tradition of staying out of domestic politics. The US, note, has had exactly zero military coups. Using troops against an ethnic group providing many of its recruits will not set well in the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel.  The soldiers will agitate, hard, against it.

But I think Mr. Trump poses another and greater threat: Right now there is a disastrous rift between black and white with intense but repressed anger of whites against blacks and intense but unrepressed anger of blacks against whites.

Latinos are quiescent. They seem preoccupied with making money while  keeping their heads down. They are assimilating. Turning them into another hostile and alienated group would be a catastrophe almost beyond imagining.

Legal Latinos do not favor open borders and, if not provoked, will remain peaceful and integrate themselves into the country. What will be their response on daily seeing soldiers or police hunting down their co-ethnics? I don’t know. But if, hypothetically, Latino police came through white neighborhoods to grab, say, white high-school dope-smokers, I know what the white reaction  would be.

If Latino barrios decided to resist, they could. They could blow SOS on a car horn when a deportation van was spotted, whereupon illegals would shelter in apartments belonging to legals, where is your warrant, and such. It would turn deportation into a fruitless, grueling, endless low-level social war with hatred growing on each side. The media would be wildly in favor of the hiders, and Mr. Trump’s people wildly against. The country would never recover. This apparently does not concern Mr. Trump.

Nor does it concern the more zealous of the deporttistas. In their writings they seem to imagine hordes of law enforcement people swooping in and scooping up dozens, or hundreds, even thousands of illegals. Unfortunately they would also sweep up Latinos who are American citizens, a category whose existence the deportistas do not fully seem to recognize. This would result in a huge wave of suits for false arrest that would go quickly to the Supremes, who inevitably would rule that citizens are citizens, period.

Bluster or promise? Mr. Trump has a history of often doing what he says he will do, or at least trying.  For example, he did indeed impose tariffs on Chinese imports, and made a Herculean attempt to build The Wall. We shall, perhaps, see.


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Comments 38

  • Illegal immigrants from Venezuela, Haiti and China are competing with hispanics already here for many jobs as gardeners, dishwashers, hotel maids and roofers. Letting millions more in does not help current residents. It does help the Mitty Romneys get cheaper labor for their ten mansions.

    Trump should immediately seal off the border. Declare large parts of the California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas deserts as military zones. Put troops there to detain anyone found inside that zone that is hundreds of miles long but maybe 20 miles wide. That will be very popular in most communities of this country. Reentry after removal will result in a six month term in a federal camp.

    Anyone who jumped through hoops to immigrate here will want new arrivals to do the same. The Border Patrol can concentrate on more populated areas like Nogales and Laredo.

    Kick out the criminals. Anyone convicted of a felony should be deported with the provision that reentry will result in a five year term of imprisonment. Put teeth in that procedure. That will give us time to digest the ones remaining.

    • So, we kick out the child molesters, axe murderers and drug dealers to make room in the prisons for illegal immigrants?

      Great idea, but not practical.

      How about dialing back the oppressive tax and regulatory situation here in the USA?
      The economy will take off and a bunch of jobs will open up. A three-time felon will be able to work as a security guard, the illegals will do gardening and house cleaning. Red China will either have to go back to making ceramic dolls and plates or get their foot off the neck of the people there to keep their economy going.

    • Give me 3 aircraft carriers (denuded of military equipment and weapons of course), 1 port where I have command and a force with logistic experience and I will clear them out in 120vdays or so.

  • Legal Theory is quite amazing. But, it’s a relic of a civilized white society that no longer exists. Rules of law and order have eroded with the demographic changes. It will only get worse. The Democratic prosecutors have shown us in the Trump trials, that Democrats will ignore laws and weaponize them against their opponents. All of our large cities are in ruin due to these Lefties. Conservatives can’t idly stand by and claim the moral and legal high-road, as that didn’t work in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Venezuela, and many other countries that were taken over by Lefties. They murdered over 100 million people in these countries in the last 100 years. The same will happen here. It’s time to recognize there is no longer a rule of law. Those illegals need to go, regardless of what the law says.

    • Spot on, however Biden and Harris will indeed finish the job. Djt will never get anywhere near power again. Prepare accordingly.

  • Right about the practicality plus logistics, cost, and possibility all those Chinese were meant to be here for something more sinister than the quality education we now offer and they will not go quietly.
    The planned immigration and the illegal invasion will change the nation. It is constantly changing anyway, but this will accelerate the next edition of the USA.
    We old folks are never going to see the great free, mostly white, land of opportunity kind of nation we grew up in. In our minds it’s sad and we wish it for future generations. In others’ minds, maybe not. In any case it will change and we can’t stop it.
    The question is, what will it change to. The immediate effect is chaos and turmoil as it change happens. What we will become is unknown for another 2-3 generations.
    It’s a done deal. We must adapt. We have done it before. Or we will dissolve.

  • Make it very expensive for companies to hire illegals, maybe a $10,000.00 fine for every illegal found employed. Cut off all free benefits, housing, medical, school, food, etc. Deduct money going to states and city’s various programs that do not cooperate. Many may self-deport.

    • Fred paints things in a certain light, and yes, you’re correct, and were it done THOROUGHLY the illegals would wander around with nothing to do. Using them in construction and domestic stuff should come with very stiff penalties making those activities not viable alternatives.

  • We will eventually become a northern version of Brazil. No reparations for Blacks will ever be forthcoming, just an ‘El Norte’ nation of Latinos, with a white minority in pockets like Appalachia, Wyoming and the Dakotas. A Latino, or perhaps a Latina, President is definitely in the pipeline. The demograhics are already here.

  • The illegals can be “Encouraged” to leave on their own in a lot of ways. One way might be to used the asset forfeiture laws against them. If the police come across an illegal driver in a traffic stop, they can seize the car. If the car belongs to a citizen, so much the better as citizens will become wary of putting illegals in control of anything worth more than, say, $1k.

    Another way might be to encourage employers that “discover” that a worker to whom they owe wages is illegal. Surprise, surprise. We, the wages do become government property but the employer gets 2/3rds back as an incentive.

    • Seize cars? You bet. Also any titled property – houses, land, etc. Vested rights in such too – prepaid rent, leases, etc. It’s being used in furtherance of a crime – staying illegally in the country. That makes it fair game for asset seizure.

  • Mass deportation is indeed possible. It starts with a declaration of martial law in the regions you are going to do the work in, and close the civilian courts. All the legal matters are handled my military tribunals, with immediate results for the illegals so tried.

    Closure of the borders, wit only licensed vehicles allowed to cross after a complete search to insure that there are no stowaways.

    If AMLO, or his successor refuses to crack down on the cartels, then trade with Mexico is ended until the illegal problem is completely dealt with.

  • Fred, you need to do some better research. Mexicans ARE NOT a majority here in Texas, although it might seem like it down around the border. According to the 2020 census, 61% of Texans identify as white. Perhaps 20% of that number may have some Spanish or Hispanic ancestry but they nevertheless call themselves white. Total Hispanic population is 39% but some 20% identify as white. It’s a somewhat complicated issue because many people with Hispanic names also have non-Hispanic ancestry. I know two white girls who are married to Hispanic men. When/if they have children, they’ll have Hispanic last names even though their mothers are white. To the best of my knowledge, there are no Hispanics at all living in my community. There was a Hispanic couple down the street, but they moved to be closer to his work.

  • I don’t think Trump will risk trying to deport a Latino citizen. He’ll go after known illegals (Lord knows there are plenty of those), get stymied by immigration lawyers and the courts, and get credit from his base for trying.

    I’ve never believed Trump was serious about stopping illegal immigration. Why should he be? His businesses profit as much as any from cheap labor–probably more than most, considering the demographics of the typical hotel housekeeping staff.

    • Of course, all this assumes that he takes office in the first place. I don’t think that will happen; there are still too many people who believe he must be stopped by any means necessary.

      • Elites want to stop him. It’s no secret that the Democrats want him in prison or dead. He had 100,000 show up recently at his rally in deep blue New Jersey. Democrats are going to try and steal another election. But this time if they do , the country will see civil unrest or worse. Something we haven’t seen since the last civil war. Nobody cares about Biden except those with an IQ even lower than Joe’s. I know America is a stupid country now (wasn’t always) and the 35-40% than is stupid do vote. So Trump may honestly lose. But maybe not. We will see soon.

      • So…. Rex, you seem to be a Trump hater. For whom would you vote if not Donald Trump? Joe Biden, who has virtually destroyed America single highhandedly in three short years? Perhaps Gavin Newsom, who runs the most broke state in the union with people fleeing CA, dying large cities and kooks making laws worse for California or perhaps Nancy Pelosi, or Kamala Harris or even Chuck Schumer all trying to destroy America with only one political party.

        Donald Trump represents the very last chance for America as we know it. He is an American phenomenon with great strength for everyone except illegals. No other person in America holds a candle to him. We had all better hope Trump is reelected….. if not, it’s all over! Hello Socialism and sharing the poverty equally with everyone else — perhaps even WW III.


    • The Trump organization has created 10s of thousands of good paying jobs.The organization currently has 20+ thousand full time employees. He brings in skilled labor and has employed many Hispanic Americans in his numerous construction projects. These jobs pay well.

  • California is giving illegals the following and it doesn’t matter when they arrived: Taxpayer provided free healthcare, free food and free housing assistance, and financial assistance for a down payment on a home and a mortgage with discounted interest rates. I’m retired. My wife is 9 years younger and has schizophrenia so obviously medical insurance is a necessity. I expect in January 2025 to pay over $1000 monthly for a bronze health plan offered by Covered California. I’ve been paying taxes my entire working life. Never even once took out unemployment benefits.

  • All I can think of the the Cheech and Chong riff on Bruce Springsteen’s work, “Born in East LA.”

    Hispanic-surnamed natural-born citizens are also “undocumented.” I don’t carry my birth certificate in my back pocket, do you? OK, I do have an enhanced driver license, but I digress.

    Do most US Citizens carry any ID at all when they are out walking or jogging?

    Must every natural-born USA citizen always carry ID if they could be suspected to be part of a border-crossing ethnicity group, in order to avoid being swept up as collateral damage with foreigners?

    My USA-born granddaughter who has Swedish, Dutch, English and Puerto-Rican ancestry has a Hispanic surname. Should I be worried for her?

    There’s an old proverb that for every difficult problem there is a solution that is simple, easily implemented, and totally wrong. Let’s find some difficult solutions that work correctly.

  • […] Trump’s Deportations: Bluster or Promise? by Fred Reed […]

  • Fred, are you saying black police will not arrest any blacks or white police will not arrest any whites? Of course they will as ethnicities have nothing to do with illegal activity. But if Latinos will not arrest any Latinos or any whites (‘cos of white objections) then the US is in deeper trouble than I thought.

  • You’re a tad mistaken. Black men only have intense and unrepressed anger for white men…they LOVE white women.

  • The billionaires do not want mass deportations because they like cheap labor. Trump will conduct a few, highly publicized deportations but these will be small potatoes. All for show.

  • Another negative issue with mass deportation is the cost to implement. Assuming it costs $1,000 to deport one illegal immigrant, to deport 2,000,000 would cost $2 billion in salaried federal employee time, transportation of said immigrants to the nearest border facility, food to feed them while transporting them, and other expenses which I cannot now anticipate. The $2 billion would be a minimum. President Trump would have to find support in Congress to authorize the expenditure of these funds and to do the deportations. The more I think about all the issues, the more I believe all our recent rash of illegal immigrants are here to stay forever.

    • It will cost a Hell of a lot more to keep them here. First there is all the aid they will receive: healthcare, food, housing. If and when they do get a menial job, it will suppress the wages of legal citizens on the low end of skills and pay. Then there is the cost of the crime both monetary and human costs. The cost of shipping them all back will be small by comparison. If Trump cuts off the aid and makes them illegal to hire they will want to go back where they came from.

    • Don’t send any more graft money to Ukraine. easy.

  • Not necessary. Just make it a high crime to employ an illegal, or to provide financial assistance, or social or other than emergency medical assistance. Some other tweaking of this and pretty soon a flood heading back to home port.

  • I welcome many of the Latinos staying in the US if they are hard working people who obey our laws, learn our language and work to become citizens. However….. WE HAVE ENOUGH!! Close the Doors and Close Them Tight except for legal immigration. My GREAT worry is the unvetted Latinos and the hoards of people from all over the world e.g. Chinese, Iranians and more that are coming over the border as part of a plan to attack America from within. Those people Must Go! There are probably enough already in the US to cause significant damage to our power grid water supply and more vulnerable areas of our infrastructure that are not guarded.

    Moreover, the hoards of people, Latino and third world people trampling over Texas and other western states HAS TO STOP — IT IS ILLEGAL! It is time for the military to take up station on our southern border and stop the INVASION with a shooting war if necessary that Joe Biden and the Democrats have brought up on us.


  • Irrelevant question. Trump is NOT going to be POTUS again. The criminals in power will do, literally ANYTHING to prevent that. They will cheat… committing fraud on an unprecedented scale if required…and they will do so openly and blatantly. They will assassinate him if they get the opportunity. They will even foment open full scale war including the use of nuclear weapons if required. The left will do literally ANYTHING to avoid risking being held accountable for their decades long massive ongoing crime spree.

    • Maybe you are right, but Trump is good at counterpunching if anything.

    • Your comment, above all others, seems to ring most true. I am astonished how, living through the blatant theft of the 2020 elections, and seeing virtually no arrests/corrections/elimination of Dominion voting machines, etc., we somehow–inexplicably–believe that this time–this time!–the 2024 elections will be honest and fair.

      Nonsense! To quote you: “The[Left] will do literally ANYTHING to avoid risking being held accountable for their decades long massive ongoing crime spree.”

      Trumps’ best strategy will be:
      1. Shut the Border down cold
      2. Build the Wall
      3. Enforce e-Verify (and arrest and jail the employer/CEO of the companies that violate same)
      4. Eliminate all Public Benefits (food support, rent control, health care, education, SS benefits) for all people who cannot show current citizenship and need for such benefits.

      Massive self-deportations will ensue. Trump will be seen to stand for Law & Order, rather than for a vastly unpopular forced deportation program.

  • Well, the mechanics of rounding up and deporting illegals has been in place for many
    decades…you are only parsing volume over time. The police CAN and WILL act, if supported. The legal system can function, if required, and do so efficiently if the political will exists to streamline the system.

    There have always been fellow travelers. They can be neutralized.

    It only requires the political will to do so.

    • ‘It only requires the political will to do so.’

      You mean the will to contravene established law…
      Law and Order types rail against the legal protections constraining police from limiting those who act improperly, but it also limits authorities from acting improperly also.

  • Trump will conduct some highly publicized deportations with Fox News cameras rolling, but nothing like what he says. Why! Fat cat billionaires like the cheap labor and will put pressure on him to go easy. Deportations will be in the thousands, not millions.

  • I don’t see Latinos as the major problem. My real concern are the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of hostile nation illegals. 40,000 plus military age Chinese men, Middle Eastern men, Venezuelan criminals, and thousands of others from every *hithole 3d world country in the world are the real threat. Nevertheless, all illegals need to go.

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