Last updated on: 5/20/2009 9:42:00 AM PST
Is Deportation a Good Solution to Illegal Immigration?

PRO (yes)

Jim Gilchrist, MBA, CPA, Founder and President of The Minuteman Project, in a May 31, 2007 Global Politician interview titled "Jim Gilchrist of Minuteman Project on Immigration, Terror, Elections," stated:

"I’m pro-deportation or if you want to use a nicer word, pro-repatriation. You cannot have a defeatist attitude towards the problem and have a solution. The repatriation of illegals must begin with a recognition of the problem and a plan. We may be called names, but the names our grandchildren will call us will be worse when they have to live in a destroyed country. There must be a multi-faceted approach, including arresting illegals and also cutting off social welfare programs to them."

May 31, 2007 - Jim Gilchrist, MBA, CPA 

Edwin S. Rubenstein, MA, President of Edwin S. Rubenstein (ESR) Research Economic Consultants, in a Jan. 26, 2006 article entitled "No-one’s Suggesting Mass Deportation—But It Would Pay For Itself," wrote:

"The cost of mass deportation according to CAP [Center for American Progress][is] $206 billion over five years ($41.2 billion per year)... [it] is an absurdly large figure... In arriving at this figure, researchers blithely assumed that the historical, abysmally low, deportee apprehension rates would continue under a mass deportation regime.... But even if $206 billion was a reasonable cost estimate, mass deportation would be well worth it. Just consider the economic burden illegal aliens impose on the rest of us... Total fiscal benefits of deportation are thus estimated at $51 billion per year... At this rate, mass deportation would pay for itself in about four years. Plus, of course, we’d get America back."

Jan. 26, 2006 - Edwin S. Rubenstein, MA 

Joe Guzzardi, English teacher at Lodi Adult School, in an Aug. 19, 2007 blog article titled "Deportation: As Easy As One, Two, Three," wrote:

"[D]eporting aliens is as easy as one, two, three. The next time you hear [U.S. President] George W. Bush or [U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security] Michael Chertoff say how impossible immigration enforcement is, remember this simple formula: one, go to where you know aliens are; two, arrest them; three, deport them. Don’t bother asking where aliens hang out. The better question is where aren’t they hanging out. Go to a bus stop, a taco truck, a convenience store, the post office or an auto repair shop. No need to round them all up at once. Just arrest one or two every day at different locations around town and the message will soon get out. Little by little, the word will be on the streets both here and in Mexico that the U.S. is seriously cracking down on illegal immigration. What would also help is if aliens were sent further away than Tijuana which is, after all, within walking distance of San Diego."

Aug. 19, 2007 - Joe Guzzardi 

Barbara C. Jordan, JD, late U.S. Representative (D-TX), in a Feb. 24, 1995 testimony to House Immigration Subcommittee, stated:

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave. ...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

Feb. 24, 1995 - Barbara C. Jordan, JD 

Victor X. Cerda, JD, Acting Director of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in an Apr. 14, 2005 testimony to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship, stated:

"DRO’s core mission is the apprehension, detention and removal of removable aliens, the management of non-detained aliens as their cases go through immigration proceedings, and the enforcement of orders of removal... to promote public safety and national security by ensuring the departure from the United States of all removable aliens through the fair enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws... By aggressively enforcing our immigration laws, we seek to deter criminal and terrorist organizations who threaten our way of life, and we seek to strengthen the legal immigration process for worthy applicants."

Apr. 14, 2005 - Victor X. Cerda, JD 

IllegalAliens.US, an anti-illegal aliens advocacy website, in its website section titled "Solutions" (accessed Jan. 25, 2007), stated:

"From a national perspective America can get illegal immigration under control only if the will to do so exists... Only until Americans force their leaders to address the problem will levels be significantly reduced. Addressing the problem means illegal aliens should not be rewarded, but, if they refuse to return home voluntarily, they should be humanely deported as required by law."

Jan. 25, 2007 - 

CON (no)

Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a Sep. 10, 2006 Washington Times opinion article titled "Immigration and Security," wrote:

"[T]he debate we are engaged in presently is a good and necessary one. However, a solution based solely on enforcement is not... The current flow of illegal immigrants and visa overstayers has made it extremely difficult for our border and interior enforcement agencies... Despite a record performance on deportations from ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] the past two years, at current rates it would take nearly 70 years to deport all of the estimated 11 million people living here illegally, even if not a single new illegal alien entered our territory. Attempting to deport everybody is neither feasible nor wise."

Sep. 10, 2006 - Tom Ridge 

Rajeev Goyle, JD, Senior Domestic Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress when quoted, and David Jaeger, PhD, Associate Professor of Economics at The College of William & Mary, in a July 2005 Center for American Progress report entitled "Deporting the Undocumented: A Cost Assessment," wrote:

"The cost assessment presented in this report hopefully illustrates the false allure of adopting a mass deportation policy as a response to the challenges threatening our immigration system... Implementing such a policy would seriously jeopardize our commitment to secure the homeland and pay for our commitments overseas, as well as threaten other vital national priorities... In sum, dealing with the problem of the undocumented is an issue of increasing national urgency. Policymakers must address the problem seriously; not with the costly and unrealistic idea of mass deportation."

July 2005 - Rajeev Goyle, JD 
David Jaeger, PhD 

John McCain, U.S. Senator (R-AZ), in a Mar. 30, 2006 statement on the Senate floor regarding border security and immigration reform legislation, offered the following remarks:

"I have listened to and understand the concerns of those who simply advocate sealing our borders and rounding up and deporting undocumented workers currently in residence here. But that's easier said than done... I have yet to hear a single proponent of this point of view offer one realistic proposal for locating, apprehending, and returning to their countries of origin over 11 million people. How do we do that? would take 200,000 buses extending along a 1700 mile long line to deport 11 million people. That's assuming we had the resources to locate and apprehend all 11 million, or even half that number, which we don't have and, we all know, won't ever have."

Mar. 30, 2006 - John McCain 

The New Sanctuary Movement, an interfaith religious advocacy group against deportation raids, in its "Pledge and Covenant" website section (accessed Oct. 17, 2007), stated:

"[We] take a public, moral stand for immigrants’ rights. We witness the violation of these rights under current immigration policy, particularly in the separation of children from their parents due to unjust deportations... We are deeply grieved by the violence done to families through immigration raids. We cannot in good conscience ignore such suffering and injustice [...] We call for an immediate moratorium on all raids and unjust deportations that cause the separation of families, until such time as the broken system of immigration laws is fixed. We... actively and publicly work for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States."

Oct. 17, 2007 - Sanctuary 2014 (formerly New Sanctuary Movement) 

The New York Times, in a Mar. 29, 2006 editorial titled "It Isn't Amnesty," offered:

"The alternatives to the Specter bill [Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 S.2611] are senseless. The enforcement-only approach — building a 700-mile wall and engaging in a campaign of mass deportation and harassment to rip 12 million people from the national fabric — would be an impossible waste of time and resources. It would destroy families and weaken the economy."

Mar. 29, 2006 - New York Times 

Richard M. Daley, JD, Mayor of Chicago, in a Mar. 25, 2007 City Council of Chicago Resolution available at the City of Chicago's website, offered the following:

"[T]he Mayor and City Council of Chicago call on the President of the United States to issue and executive order to cease and desist in the execution of all raids and deportations that do not relate to our national security or to criminal activity until comprehensive immigration reform is completed and to suspend immediately all deportations of parents with U.S. citizen children and to specifically release those now held in custody in the Chicago Metropolitan area on their own recognizance."

Mar. 25, 2007 - Richard M. Daley, JD 

Families For Freedom, an immigration advocacy group, in a June 26, 2007 section titled "Deportation 101: From Raids to Deportation," available on the Families for Freedom website stated:

"Every year, nearly 200,000 non-citizens —many with kids who are U.S. citizens— are deported and torn away from their families... resulting in more single parent households and psychological and financial hardship, or forcing their U.S. citizen children into deportation with them. These American children may have to start over in a country with a new language, fewer resources and an uncertain future. America’s immigration laws force American children to lose their parent, or their country. Mandatory deportation is a life sentence of exile. Such a severe 'one size fits all' punishment cannot be the basis of our immigration system."

June 26, 2007 - Families For Freedom 

IndyBay, an independent media coalition, in a Feb. 28, 2007 site section titled "Conference Call for Child Citizen Protection Act," offered the following:

"Deportation destroys families and leaves U.S. citizen children without parents. Over 1 in 10 families are mixed status: at least 1 parent is a non-citizen, and 1 child a citizen. We now have a vehicle to help protect our U.S. citizen children from the devastating effects of deportation: The Child Citizen Protection Act... would allow an immigration judge to consider the best interest of U.S. citizen children before deporting their parent."

Feb. 28, 2007 - IndyBay