By Leon Krauze, Slate
On Monday, the night before the formal launch of his reelection campaign in Florida, President Donald Trump issued a warning. “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” he tweeted. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
This is a lie. Despite Trump’s obsession, mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States is virtually impossible. Estimates suggest that the cost of detaining, processing, and physically removing the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants would be astronomical. The country’s immigration system isn’t capable of such punitive expediency, either. The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff did the math: At its current rate of 7,000 monthly deportations, it would take two and a half decades for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reach Trump’s punitive threshold.
But since the president likes to deal in fantasy, let’s indulge him: What if Trump had a Thanos-like gauntlet that could make America’s undocumented community instantly disappear? The consequences for the country’s economy would be dire and immediate.