FAIR Answers FWD.us's Questions to Donald Trump
FACTSHEET | MAY 2016
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Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, the tech industry-backed amnesty and open borders lobby group, FWD.us, has made public six questions they’d like him to respond to.
We don’t know if Trump will answer them (he probably won’t), and we do not speak for him. But we’ll take a shot at answering FWD.us’s questions, since they are at the core of the amnesty lobby’s case to the American people.
Q:As conservative economists have put the cost at between $620 and $890 billion in new government spending, how exactly do you plan to pay for the mass deportation of approximately 11 million undocumented people already living here?
A: It isn’t really necessary to deport 11 million people in order to enforce our immigration laws. Illegal aliens are rational people who have come here in large numbers because illegal immigration is rewarded. If we were to make a serious effort to enforce laws against employing illegal aliens, eliminate non-essential, non-emergency benefits and services to illegal aliens, end sanctuary policies, and take the prospect of amnesty off the table, many would decide to leave on their own. We should deport illegal aliens when they are identified and apprehended, but deportation is not the only tool we have available to deal with illegal immigration.
Even if the cost figures cited in the question are accurate, the long-term costs associated with granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens to remain here is much greater—running into the trillions of dollars over the lifetimes of the amnesty recipients.
Q:Do you believe the Supreme Court was correct to rule that children should be allowed access to America’s public schools, regardless of their status? Would you take steps to eliminate taxpayer dollars for educating undocumented minors?
A: The 1982 Plyler v. Doe case, determining whether Tyler, Texas, should have to provide free K-12 education to illegal aliens, was decided by a narrow 5-4 vote. The majority opinion noted that the cost of providing education to illegal aliens in Tyler, Texas, did not represent a substantial burden to the community, especially when compared to the harm caused by kids not being in school. In 2016, the case could be made that in many jurisdiction across the United States the costs associated with providing K-12 education to illegal aliens represents an overwhelming burden. And, of course, all kids should be in school. But it is unreasonable to expect American taxpayers to foot the bill for a limitless number of foreign nationals. It is also unreasonable to excuse parents who would put their kids in circumstances where they could not receive and education, rather than return with them to their home countries.
As far as what should be done to eliminate the burden on taxpayers, we can quote directly from Justice William Brennan’s majority opinion. “Even assuming that the net impact of illegal aliens on the economy is negative, charging tuition to undocumented children constitutes an ineffectual attempt to stem the tide of illegal immigration, at least when compared with the alternative of prohibiting employment of illegal aliens. (Emphasis added.) In other words, if we deter illegal aliens from settling and remaining in this country, the issue of providing education to their children will dissipate of its own accord.
Q:Since we know which communities across the U.S. have large undocumented student and family populations, would you use these elementary schools as a starting point to start rounding up undocumented kids?
A: No. Schools are not the place to enforce immigration laws. As noted in the previous answer, the best way to protect our schools from the costs associated with illegal immigration is to convince people not to come or remain here illegally in the first place.
Q:Do you believe that hospitals should deny medical care to those individuals without proper immigration documentation?
A: People who show up in hospital emergency rooms with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries must be treated for those conditions irrespective of their immigration status. We value and respect human life. However, that does not mean that we should be obligated to provide long-term care for chronic conditions if the illegal alien can be safely returned to his or her home country.
Q:You have said you do not believe the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to people you label as “anchor babies.” What is your plan for those children? Do they get deported as well? Or do we leave them in the U.S. and effectively orphan the roughly 3 million native born U.S. citizens who would be left behind?
A: The citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment was clearly intended to ensure that emancipated slaves after the Civil War were recognized as U.S. citizen. The contemporaneous debates that occurred in Congress at the time the 14th Amendment was being ratified make it clear that the framers meant to exclude foreign nationals from showing up in the U.S. and claiming citizenship for their U.S.-born offspring. Moving forward, we should interpret the 14th Amendment as the framers intended and limit birthright citizenship to the children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
However, we should not retroactively strip citizenship from those who have benefited from the policy as it has existed until now.
If illegal alien parents who leave or are deported choose to leave their U.S. citizen children in this country that is their responsibility. Most responsible parents would not choose to do so. These children could return to their parents’ homelands and be recognized as citizens of those countries. As U.S. citizens, these children would be free to exercise their right to return to the United States when they reach the age of majority.
(N.B.: The question implies that the parents should be allowed to remain here by virtue of the fact that their kids are U.S. citizens, thereby affirming the description of the U.S.-born kids as “anchor babies.”)
Q:You have refused to denounce the internment camps used during World War II, and your current plan would involve nearly 100 times as many people as those locked away during that period. If you’re arresting and deporting roughly 21,000 people every single day for 18 months, will you build new internment camps?
A:FAIR denounces the use of internment camps during World War II. The people who were interned were U.S. citizens and legal resident aliens, and there was no evidence that they posed any threat to national security.
The short-term detention of illegal aliens to ensure their return to their countries of origin is in no way analogous to the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. Detention is a legitimate means of ensuring compliance with the law, since the majority of deportable aliens who are released from custody abscond.
Most importantly, as noted in previous responses, the notion that enforcing our immigration laws requires that we deport 11 million illegal aliens is a straw man. We can effectively enforce our immigration laws without deporting everyone. Nor should we ever expect that the number of illegal aliens living in the United States will be zero. The realistic objective should not be 100 percent compliance—no law made by man or God achieves that goal. Rather, the American people should expect that their government will take all reasonable steps to deter people from violating our immigration laws and enforce those laws when people who break them are identified.
SEE ALSO: WHERE DO THE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS STAND ON IMMIGRATION?—FAIR'S ANALYSIS OF THE CANDIDATES' OFFICIAL IMMIGRATION PLATFORMS.