We’ve heard a lot from the candidates about how concerned they are with immigration, how they supposedly drive down wages, and how we need to secure the border and deport everyone who’s already come over. What we haven’t heard is how our presidential hopefuls define “border security.” Here are two questions I’d like to see the field asked tonight:
“What steps would you take to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the border, and how would you pay for it?”
Donald Trump has given a partial answer here by saying he plans to build a wall, but walls need people to man them (to say nothing of the cost of building and maintaining it). Ditto for Bush, who has actually come out with pretty detailed plans for checkpoints and mobile units to secure our border with Mexico but again fails to tell us how exactly he plans to pay for it. Are the funds already there, or would we need to increase taxes to fund it?
Do you believe we need to deport the 11 million immigrants already here? If so how would you accomplish it?
This is the 11 million person question no one wants to answer. Several of the candidates are of the opinion that these migrants need to go back to their home countries, but no one seems to have a realistic plan to do it. I’d be interested to see a real discussion on whether we need a mass deportation plan, or whether steps like E-Verify and a temporary guest worker program that allows job seekers to go home on their own would be better for the country.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.