Trump Promises Largest Mass Deportations of Migrants if Elected

Donald Trump has repeated his promise to authorize the largest-ever deportation operation from the US if he is re-elected in November. The former President and GOP nominee described deporting around 20 million people and said he would utilize the National Guard and the military to conduct the operation that will involve rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them back to their home countries.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers say such an operation would likely require a considerable funding increase and Congressional approval. Tom Homan, who led ICE during the Trump administration, said removing 20 million people would need more officers, more flights, and facilities to house migrants while they await deportation. However, he agrees with the policy overall, saying, “If you’re in this country illegally, then we’ll remove you.”

Mr. Homan believes the deportations should occur in stages, with known criminals the first to leave. “They are the most dangerous,” he said.

Eric Ruark of NumbersUSA said the 20 million figure is probably accurate, given the vast numbers that have entered America illegally during the Biden administration and the US Census Bureau’s estimate of 11 million.

During a recent interview, Mr. Trump referenced the major 1950s deportation operation known as Operation Wetback. Conducted under the administration of Dwight Eisenhower, Operation Wetback resulted in the deportation of more than one million immigrants, mainly from Mexico. Throughout the summer of 1954, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were reportedly arrested, while thousands more left voluntarily.

The migrants were deported on planes, buses, and trains, but the final figure of 1.1 million remains hotly disputed, particularly given that many migrants re-entered and the difficulty in knowing how many left of their own accord.

Experts suggest that a future Trump administration will face obstacles, including the refusal of origin countries to take the migrants back. However, former ICE chief of staff Jon Feere says America has enough leverage and will tell other countries they will get no more US assistance unless they cooperate.