The Right-Wing Backtrack on Deportation

On Tuesday, we released an immigration report that proved, for the first time, how financially reckless a mass deportation policy would be. We found that the cost of deporting 80 percent of the undocumented immigrants currently in the United States (we presumed 20 percent would leave voluntarily) to be at least $206 billion over 5 years. That’s $41.2 billion each year — more than the ’06 budget of the Department of Homeland Security.

Already, the report has been forcing right-wingers used to whipping up anti-immigrant hysteria to finally face up to a bit of reality. For years, some of the most prominent figures in this debate, like Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), have thrown around mass deportation as a reasonable solution to our immigration problems. But in the last two days, prominent figures on the right, including Tancredo, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, and conservative immigration analyst Mark Krikorian have disowned their threats and blustering, and now deny ever supporting a mass deportation policy.

Perhaps these reformed voices will actually work towards a practical resolution of our country’s immigration issues. Maybe they can ask the White House to get off the sidelines and start doing the hard work to help forge a compromise between the McCain/Kennedy bill and Cornyn/Kyl for real immigration reform that will help our country?

— Raj Goyle

P.S. If you’re interested in this issue, I’ll be discussing it in a Moving Ideas discussion from 2-3 pm. Mark Krikorian will also be participating, so expect some fireworks.