Donald Trump has made a hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants a hallmark of his campaign. On ABC’s This Week, he was pressed repeated on his pledge to immediately deport every undocumented immigrant. Although credible sources estimate there are around 11 million such immigrants, Trump claimed there were as many as 30 million.
But pressed repeatedly on how he would accomplish this monumental feat, Trump had no answers.
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.
An analysis by the Center For American Progress estimates deporting 11.3 million people would cost $10,070 per person, or $114 billion. That only covers the “direct cost of physically deporting unauthorized immigrants.” The conservative American Action Forum, considering the total cost to the economy, estimates mass deportation of all undocumented immigrants would cost between $420 billion and $620 billion and take 20 years.
At the end of a lengthy exchange with Trump, Stephanopoulos stressed that he still hasn’t “heard the specifics on how you are going to do that.” Trump appeared to acknowledge he hasn’t offered any. “Oh, you’ll hear it, George. Don’t worry about it,” Trump said.
A recent Gallup poll found that just 19 percent of Americans supported mass deportation.