As the train wreck that is Donald Trump barrels down the track at greater-than full speed, we learn more and more about the plans he has for America. Or rather, what we learn is the lack of concrete plans he has for America. He appeared on ABC’s This Week, where George Stephanopolous grilled him over how to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. While we can’t expect him to have a fully detailed plan just yet, his answer suggests that he hasn’t even got the barest hint of a basic framework for this plan yet.
Think Progress has the details of The Donald’s lack of details and he told Stephanopolous that the whole thing is just a matter of management:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if there’s no idea, how are you going to round them all up? Where are you going to get the money, where are you going to get the forces? Exactly how are you going to do it? What are the specifics here?
TRUMP: George, it’s called management. And the first thing we have to do is secure the border. But it’s called management. And we’ll get people back in, the really good ones, we’re going to expedite it so they get back in, so they can at least come in legally.
But we have to do it…
STEPHANOPOULOS: You keep declaring how you’re going to do it…
TRUMP: It’s management.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — but you don’t say…
TRUMP: We don’t…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — how.
TRUMP: Excuse me, George?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You declare how you’re going to to it, but you don’t say how.
TRUMP: George, I’m telling you, it’s called management. You can do this and we can expedite the good ones to come back in. And everybody wants that. But they have to come in legally.
What does that even mean? Does that mean he thinks resources are poorly allocated right now and better “management” would ensure resources are used to their highest advantage? The biggest problem with Donald Trump is that he’s long on talk and virtually nonexistent on substance. He could have used this opportunity to give a detail or two, or even a single bar of framing and all he said was that it’s a “matter of management.”
We can’t deny that it’s going to take expanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement, expanding their budget and probably a significant increase in funding to state and local law enforcement as well, to accomplish this. ICE literally doesn’t have the funding or the manpower to accomplish a mass deportation on that scale right now.
We’d also have to address the issue of sanctuary cities, which are cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law for various reasons. Many have called for cutting DHS funding off to these cities, which might be effective, however, there are other considerations, like whether city policies of not enforcing federal immigration law makes those cities safer. Some believe it does, because it makes undocumented immigrants more likely to report crimes, since they’re not afraid they’ll be arrested and deported when they do.
Then there’s the question of getting “the good ones” back in, legally. So, what, he’s going to deport every last undocumented immigrant we have and then spend, what the next ten years going through records, weeding out the “bad” ones and then hunting down the “good” ones all over the world, just to bring them back? How much is that going to cost? Why not grant them a path to citizenship while they’re already here? Why not give them all a chance to become “the good ones?” It would certainly cost a lot less, both in terms of the federal budget and in terms of the U.S. economy.
One would think that Trump would at least have a vague idea of what kinds of “management” are needed. Instead, all he said is that it’s a matter of “management.” PLEASE.