Donald Trump Proposes ‘Operation Wetback’ To Deport 11 Million Immigrants In Two Years

donald trump
Donald Trump has a vision: deporta all undocumented immigrants within 2 years, without major civil rights violations. His inspiration? A 1950s deportation program that killed dozens and deported hundreds of Hispanic American Citizens Above: Trump takes questions at the New England Council's "Politics and Eggs' breakfasts in Manchester, New Hampshire November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has promised that he would deport most of the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally in just two years. His critics say that such a plan is impossible to execute without a massive amount of money and a significant level of human rights abuses, pointing out that Trump hasn’t provided details on how he’d carry out the mass deportation.

At the recent GOP debate Trump fired back saying that it would be easy to do. After all, he argued, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” succeeded in deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the 1954.

"Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower, good president, great president, people liked him. I liked him. I Like Ike, right?" Trump said on Tuesday, adding that "1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country - moved 'em [way] south, they never came back."

There have been a lot of surprising reactions to Trump’s statement. But first, you might be wondering what Eisenhower’s program was.

What Was Operation Wetback?

Trump didn’t refer to the program by name, put Eisenhower’s enforcement policy was called “Operation Wetback.”

  • Eisenhower implemented the program after a 1951 study concluded that undocumented Mexicans were depressing the labor market. This coincided with the return of soldiers after WWII and an unprecedented entrance of American women in the labor market.

  • Nearly 1.1 million people were apprehended.

  • Employers were punished for hiring undocumented immigrants.

  • Some Mexican workers were welcomed on a temporary visa program, the “carrot” to the deportation “stick.”

  • Dozens of Latinos died after being packed into trucks and boats to be shipped to Mexico

  • The Mexican government cooperated with and assisted the program.

Can Trump’s “Operation Wetback” 2.0 “Make America Great Again?” The candidate has argued that immigrants are drivers of crime, drug use and sexual assault in the U.S. (we can’t find much evidence to back these claims).

Immigration advocates point out that such a policy would separate families of mixed status, and that an rushed deportation program would lead to additional human right violations in America’s apprehension, detention and deportation practices.

Many Mexican-American American citizens were deported during “Operation Wetback.” Critics argue that Trump’s “Operation Wetback 2.0” would lead to hundreds of thousands of deportations of American citizens.

White Supremacists Love It

Other critics point to Trump’s unsavory fans, who cheered at the references to “Operation Wetback.” BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reports that the mention won Trump accolades on StormFront.org, an online forum founded by former KKK leader Don Black. In a recent podcast hosted by Black, panelists sang Trump’s praises.

“Donald Trump is to be commended. He really is to be supported,” said co-host Don Advo, according to BuzzFeed. “One thing that you can do to support him and support the cause of the pro-white narrative is that if you live in a state where you are not registered as a Republican you need to register as a Republican so you can vote for him in the primary.”

Black called Trump the GOP’s “alpha male” and said that “He is telling the truth about the racial realities of the immigrant invasion” when Trump “evoked Dwight Eisenhower.”

Pro-Business Conservatives Hate It

“Conservatives, who have a healthy distrust of the government’s ability to run complicated programs well, should be very dubious,” writes Michael R. Strain, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

“Conservatives should be appalled by the implications of Trump’s signature policy — because of what his deportation force might accidentally do to U.S. citizens. And because of what it is designed to do to illegal immigrants and their families, the communities in which they live, and the character of the nation."

 

 

 

 

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