Oust millions of people from the economy and just watch the G.D.P. drop.
I differ slightly with the Times’s headline. I don’t think Trump knows the facts, and I don’t think he’s interested in hearing them. I think he’s fixated on being a President who fulfills his campaign promises no matter who gets harmed and no matter how outlandish they were.
The American Action Forum last year estimated that expelling all unauthorized immigrants, and keeping them out, would cost $400 billion to $600 billion, and reduce the gross domestic product by $1 trillion.
Mr. Trump describes immigrants as rapist-murderer-terrorists, but what they really are is a pillar of the American economy, producing a net benefit of about $50 billion since 1990. Farms and restaurants, hotels, manufacturers, retail businesses — all sectors of the economy benefit directly or indirectly from immigrant labor.
Imprisoning them while they get their required-by-law due process before expulsion?
All the people Mr. Kelly rounds up will have to be detained and deported at taxpayer expense. Congress requires the Homeland Security Department to maintain about 34,000 immigration detention beds, at an estimated annual cost of $2 billion, or $5.5 million a day. Adding thousands more cells and beds will surely send that bill — like the profits of the private-prison contractors who have been cashing in on all this misery — through the roof.
It seems that no one in the Administration has the sense or the willingness to explain this to Trump, or perhaps he has no interest in hearing it. That’s more likely.
The “deportation force” may or may not hit its 11 million target, the wall may or may not stretch from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, but terror and intimidation have already spread through immigrant communities. And this is what the nativists who have been schooling the president want.
The larger costs to the economy, and the dire human toll, do not concern them.
I disagreed with almost everything George W. Bush did while he was in office but I didn’t loathe him. Words cannot express how much I despise Trump and his crowd.