Throughout his entire campaign, Donald Trump made numerous pie-in-the-sky promises to his supporters, including his plans to deport “millions” of immigrants who are currently residing in the US illegally. But now that he’s secured his place as the next president of the United States, can he feasibly follow through on his plans?
With Trump’s inauguration date swiftly approaching, speculation continues to brew regarding how the country will change under the new presidency. But there is one huge and unavoidable flaw in his plan for mass deportation: the multi-billion dollar price tag.
According to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), it costs nearly $12,500 to deport just one person.Assuming that number doesn’t increase, the costs for Trump’s proposed mass deportation would be astronomical. In fact, deporting 2 to 3 million people could cost more than $25 billion. Bear in mind, the current total budget for both ICE and Customs and Border Protection is just $19.4 billion.
But the potential costs don’t end there. The Donald Trump deportation plan would also require thousands of new immigration officers (aside from salaries, factor in training and equipment) as well as hundreds of new judges to deal with the nation’s backlog of over 526,000 immigration cases. This is all in addition to the costs of locating, arresting, and detaining 2 to 3 million immigrants in the first place.
And aside from the large sum of money, the Donald Trump deportation plan would take a lot of time as well; undoubtedly more than one four-year presidential term. While his 10-point immigration plan states that he plans to move “criminal aliens out day one,” doing so would be virtually impossible. Between 2009 and 2015, Obama deported 2.5 million immigrants—more than any other US president in history. But that was over the course of six years.
Then there’s the issue of the number of deportable immigrants currently in the US. In fact, there may not even be 2 to 3 million immigrants that Trump could legally deport. In 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security reported 1.9 million deportable immigrants with criminal convictions. Of that nearly 2 million, it’s estimated that only 820,000 were residing in the US illegally. To hit his promised quota, the president-elect would have to deport legal immigrants as well. However, in order to do this, those immigrants would have to have a criminal record with felonies or misdemeanors.
If You Are a Legal or Illegal Immigrant Residing in the United States
- Do not make big changes or implement strong new decisions in your life based on the election until we have more concrete answers on Trump’s plans. If you have questions about your rights, contact an immigration lawyer.
- If you have a criminal record, ensure that you have a complete copy. Have it analyzed and explained to you by a lawyer. Notaries do not have access to necessary information and they lack the education needed to correctly interpret your record.
- If you have a criminal record, you should talk to a lawyer who is an expert in immigration and criminal law to see if there are options to remove some of your infractions.
- Be extra cautious with your record. Abide by all laws and stay away from any illegal activities.
- Take care of yourself and your loved ones. You are part of an important community. Surround yourself with strong, accepting people that give you loving energy, spirit, and strength to live and excel.
Come January 20th, we’ll know much more about the future of the nation. But until then, we can hope that the highly unreasonable costs of this plan might deter the president-elect from following through—especially considering he also campaigned on a platform of lowering taxes and the national debt. Still, legal and illegal immigrants residing in the US with criminal records should still be cautious. If you are an immigrant with a misdemeanor or a felony, you should seek legal counsel now. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you devise a plan to protect you and your family from the Donald Trump deportation plan. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys at Katz Law Office Ltd., contact our office today.
None of the advice contained in these materials serves as a substitute for individualized legal representation by a licensed attorney with experience in the practice area.