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Santorum Says Mass Deportation Isn’t So Bad: ‘We’re Not Sending Them To Any Kind Of Difficult Country’

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"Santorum Says Mass Deportation Isn’t So Bad: ‘We’re Not Sending Them To Any Kind Of Difficult Country’"

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Being deported is like taking a vacation in Cancun, basically.

ThinkProgress has been reporting on how GOP contenders have practically been tripping over each other to offer the harshest, most costly proposal for dealing with undocumented immigrants. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) joined in the chest-thumping yesterday on Fox News, opposing the idea that undocumented immigrants who have been here for decades should have any path to reside here legally or apply for citizenship. Santorum said there shouldn’t even be consideration for immigrants who have family members living in the U.S. legally.

He “doesn’t want to break up families,” he said, but deportation isn’t so bad because “we’re not sending them to any kind of difficult country”:

SANTORUM: Yeah I feel bad, I don’t like to break up families, but you know the family can go back. We’re not sending them to Siberia. We’re not sending them to any kind of, you know, difficult country. They’re going to Mexico, which is a great country, a nice country. And they can go back like every other Mexican that wants to come to America and come here legally.

Watch it:

Santorum may think that being deported to Mexico is akin to taking a permanent vacation in Cancun, but most immigrants find it a harrowing experience. Immigrants, some of whom have lived in the U.S. since childhood, are forcibly removed from their families and sent to a place where they often have no remaining connections, no relatives, and no housing or job prospects.

In search of a better life and more economic opportunity, approximately 400,000 migrants go through Mexico each year to reach the United States. Nearly half the Mexican population, or 52 million people, live in poverty, 11.7 million of them in extreme poverty. Much of the population lacks access to food, clean water, education, and health care.

Some immigrants who come to the U.S. are also refugees who are too scared of being deported or intimidated by the difficult legal process to apply for asylum. The U.S. asylum system has been particularly unmerciful for people running from Central American gangs — despite a surge in gang-related claims, their petitions are rarely granted. Many immigrants have been killed by gangs after being deported, proving their lives really were at risk — but too late.

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