Republican Party Shows Disconnect on Immigration
May 19, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee, Republicans face a choice on immigration.
Many seem to be turning away from his nativist calls.
More and more GOP leaders across the party are speaking out regarding their concerns around mass deportation, citing everything from feasibility to human and moral implications to economic cost.
“I can’t even begin to picture how we would deport 11 million people in a few years where we don’t have a police state, where the police can’t break down your door at will and take you away without a warrant,” said Michael Chertoff, who served as the secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. “Unless you suspend the Constitution and instruct the police to behave as if we live in North Korea, it ain’t happening.”
Even among members of the Freedom Caucus such as Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina), opposition to Trump’s immigration proposals is growing. Other Republican members of Congress are voicing concerns as well.
“Logistically that is an impossibility,” Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-North Carolina) said of mass deportation. “It would cost the taxpayers of America. We would never get there … It would be an endless pursuit.”
“That’s not realistic. I think that most people who look at that issue want a solution. They want tougher border enforcement, and they want to make sure that the people who are here illegally — particularly those who are committing crimes and have law enforcement issues — get sent back, but as we look at these issues, you have to consider what is actually doable,” said Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota).
“I called it a fraud from day one, from the day he announced it. It’s not a plan, alright, and it is unrealistic and it’s not a solution,” added Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida).
“If you aren’t for the mass deportation of 11 million people, what are you for?” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “The alternative can and must be immigration reform that honors the rule of law, keeps us safe, boosts our economy, respects immigrants’ dignity and helps all of us thrive.
“Time and again, local conservatives have pushed for commonsense immigration policies that will best serve our nation’s economy and communities. The support is there.”