Media Push Back Against Trump's 'Troubling' Immigration Plan

Conservative media outlets are praising Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's immigration proposals -- which include mass deportation and ending birthright citizenship -- despite mainstream and Hispanic media outlets pointing out that the plan would cost billions of dollars, dismantle the labor force across the country, raise the undocumented immigrant population exponentially, and be “clearly unconstitutional.”

Trump Announces Immigration Plan, Calls For End To Birthright Citizenship

AP: Trump's Immigration Plan Would Deny Citizenship To The Children Of Undocumented Immigrants Born In The U.S. According to an August 8 Associated Press article, Donald Trump's newly released immigration plan calls for the end of birthright citizenship as well as expanded immigration enforcement efforts such as “deportation for millions” of undocumented immigrants and a permanent border wall:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to deny citizenship to the babies of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally as part of an immigration plan that emphasizes border security and deportation for millions.

He would also rescind Obama administration executive orders on immigration.

Trump described his expanded vision of how to secure American borders during a wide-ranging interview Sunday on NBC's “Meet The Press,” saying that he would push to end the constitutionally protected citizenship rights of children of any family living illegally inside the U.S.  

“They have to go,” Trump said, adding: “What they're doing, they're having a baby. And then all of a sudden, nobody knows ... the baby's here.”

Native-born children of immigrants -- even those living illegally in the U.S. -- have been automatically considered American citizens since the adoption of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution in 1868. 


Trump's remarks came as his campaign website posted his program for “immigration reform.” Among its details: Making Mexico pay for a permanent border wall. Mandatory deportation of all “criminal aliens.” Tripling the force of immigration officers by eliminating tax credit payments to immigrant families residing illegally in the U.S. [Associated Press, 8/17/, accessed 8/18/15]

Right Wing Media Hype Trump's Plan As “Putting Americans Workers First” “Donald Trump Releases Immigration Reform Plan Designed To Get Americans Back To Work.”  An August 16 article titled “Donald Trump Releases Immigration Reform Plan Designed To Get Americans Back To Work” called Trump's ideas “a completely new look at immigration and a complete overhaul of the current system, politicians' priorities, and special interest involvement” while outlining the plan's specifics. The article continued:

The plan details not just that Trump believes in putting “American workers first” over the interest of foreign workers, foreign nations, and special interests, but how he would do so. Trump is the first and only presidential candidate this cycle who has done this and gone into this level of policy detail. [, 8/16/15]

Fox's Todd Starnes: Trump “Wants To Put Americans First, Not The Illegals.” In an August 17 piece on Fox Nation, Fox News radio host Todd Starnes applauded Trump's immigration policy paper, saying that “Trump understands ... that the United States of America has been invaded by millions of illegals”:

What I'm about to tell you is politically incorrect, but it needs to be said. There's a reason why Donald Trump is smoking his Republican competition -- he wants to put Americans first, not the illegals.

Trump understands a fundamental truth -- that the United States of America has been invaded by millions of illegals from Mexico and parts due south.

The illegals are pillaging and plundering our economy. They are raping and murdering our fellow countrymen. They have been given accommodation at the expense of the American taxpayer.

And yet our elected leaders in Congress and the White House have chosen to stand down as the sovereignty of our great nation has been violated.

So while the politicians and pundits have scampered away from the issue, Trump stepped up to the plate and offered a concise plan that would secure our border and restore our sovereignty.  [Fox Nation,8/17/15]

National Review: Trump's Immigration Policy Represents Good Principles. In an August 16 National Review piece, Ian Tuttle wrote that Trump's immigration plan's “three core principles” are “admirable”:

Maddening as he is, Donald Trump seems to have intuited that consensus and its deficiencies, and his “three core principles” are admirable -- they express forcefully and succinctly the existential question that is at the root of the immigration debate. The question for Trump is whether these good principles have led to good policies. At a glance, there is some sense in his plan (nationwide e-Verify, an end to catch-and-release policies, defunding sanctuary cities) and a fair amount of nonsense. But getting the principles right is crucial, and it is more than some other candidates have managed. The candidate who wants to be formidable, and knock Trump from his perch, would assert The Donald's principles, then bolster them with solid policies. [National Review, The Corner, 8/16/15]

Mainstream Media Outlets Expose The Harmful Economic Implications Of Trump's Mass Deportation Plan

BloombergExperts Estimate That Mass Deportation Would Cost Billions Of Dollars To ImplementBloomberg cited statistics given to Congress in 2011 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputy director Kumar Kibble as well as other immigration experts estimates to highlight the enormous expense associated with the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants:

In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputy director Kumar Kibble told Congress it costs $12,500 to deport one person. Multiply that by 11 million and the cost comes to $137.5 billion.

A 2010 estimate by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress puts the cost of deporting all 11 million undocumented people at $200 billion over five years. The conservative pro-immigration group American Action Forum made a similar projection this year, placing the cost of a mass deportation program that also prevents future illegal immigration at $400 billion to $600 billion over a decade.

 The Department of Homeland Security's budget in fiscal year 2014 was $60 billion, and it says it has the resources to deport 400,000 people per year. [Bloomberg, 8/17/15]

National Journal Also Highlighted ICE Deputy Director's Cost Estimate To Explain That Mass Deportation Requires “Explosive Costs.” National Journal explained that because of the “explosive costs” associated with mass deportation, many Republicans have attempted to find a new solution. However, experts who have given cost estimates of mass deportation found that a plan similar to Trump's would cost billions of dollars to implement:

The explosive costs of mass deportation have often forced Republican presidential and congressional candidates to find another solution. Trump's position is far outside the mainstream of many other Republicans. There are several estimates out there on what it would cost to round up the roughly 11 million people who are residing in the U.S. without permission. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, estimated in 2010 (when the illegal population was smaller) that it would take $200 billion to “arrest, detain, legally process and transport the undocumented population over a five year period.” That did not include the $85 billion it tallied for keeping up with enforcement in the subsequent five years. In 2011, the Houston Chronicle reported that ICE Deputy Director Kumar Kibble told members of Congress that it cost $5 billion to round up and deport 393,000 immigrants. That comes to a cost of approximately $12,722 per immigrant. If you had to deport 11 million people at that cost, the feds would be doling out about $140 billion. [National Journal8/18/15]

CNN: Trump's Plan Pits The U.S. Against Mexico In An “All-Out Economic Battle.” An opinion column by Raul Reyes, an attorney and member of the USA Today board of contributors, on CNN explained that Trump's expectation that Mexico would pay for a border wall could cause a “disruptive” economic conflict between the U.S. and Mexico:

To force Mexico to pay for this wall, Trump says he would impose import tariffs for its construction. Imagine how disruptive it would be if “President Trump” were to enter into an all-out economic battle with one of our top three trade partners, whose imports to the U.S. in 2014 totalled $294 billion.


Trump's immigration policy seems centered on the myth that undocumented immigrants take jobs from Americans. In fact, researchers have found that undocumented immigrants constitute a net benefit to our economy, based on their contributions to Social Security, taxes and work in the agricultural and service sectors. [CNN, 8/17/15]

Washington Post: Trump's Immigration Plan Is A “Non-Starter” And Leaves “Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs Vacant. The Washington Post editorial board wrote August 17 that Trump's immigration plan leaves ”hundreds of thousands jobs unfilled" because his mass deportation proposal would dismantle the labor force across the country:

As a quick fix for unemployment, Mr. Trump's plan is also a non-starter. The share of the labor force occupied by illegal immigrants in California, Nevada, Texas and New Jersey is much greater than the jobless rate in each of those states. Even if every unemployed American in those states took an undocumented worker's job -- wildly unlikely, given that most Americans are unwilling to do the dirty jobs filled by many immigrants -- it would still leave hundreds of thousands jobs unfilled. [The Washington Post8/17/15]

Media Explains Trump's Plan To End Birthright Citizenship Would Increase Number Of Undocumented Immigrants And Be “Clearly Unconstitutional”

CBS: Under Trump's Immigration Plan, The Number Of Undocumented Immigrants Would Continue To Rise Exponentially. CBS reported the undocumented population will rise from 11 million to 16 million by 2050 if birthright citizenship was rescinded: 

A 2010 study by the Migration Policy Institute found that the undocumented population would rise from its current level of about 11 million to 16 million by 2050 as families continued to expand, but with children not becoming American citizens. That number would be even higher if the government only allowed children who had two legal-status parents to become citizens. [CBS, 8/18/15; Migration Policy Institute, September 2010

UCLA Constitutional Law Professor: Trump's Plan To End Birthright Citizenship Would Be “Clearly Unconstitutional.”  UCLA Professor Adam Winkler told Bloomberg that attempting to end birthright citizenshipwith legislation is “dead on arrival” in Congress and would be “clearly unconstitutional”:

Trump came out in favor of ending “birthright citizenship,” a proposition that will please many conservatives who say foreigners exploit the policy by coming to the U.S. and having children so that they can become American citizens.

But ending that policy would be “clearly unconstitutional,” said UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler.

As the Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” In the 1982 case Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court held that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”

“To end birthright citizenship would require a constitutional amendment,” Winkler said. That requires two-thirds of both chambers of Congress and three-fourths of the states. In other words, it's dead on arrival. [Bloomberg8/17/15]

Hispanic Media Also Critical Of Trump's Immigration Proposals

Univision's Jorge Ramos: Trump's Deportation Plan “Impossible” And Wall “Absurd And A Waste Of Money.” On August 17, Univision's anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted several critical comments about Trump's massive deportation plan and his suggestion to build a wall on the border with Mexico:

[, 8/17/158/17/15]

CNN En Español's Juan Carlos Lopez: Trump's Proposals “Don't Make Sense.” During the August 17 edition of CNN En Español's Directo USA, host Juan Carlos López pushed back on guest Maricruz MaGowan's opinion that Trump's proposals are aimed at stopping other countries from taking advantage of the US. López said Trump's proposals “don't make sense” and that the plan isn't feasible as it would require a Constitutional amendment which is unlikely to pass:

LOPEZ: There's the North America Free Trade Agreement, and when you analyze the numbers, of the three countries, the US is the one that has benefitted the most from it. Mexico has a very close commercial relationship with the United States. But there's an agreement, there are treaties, there are laws. For example, he said that he would impose duties on Ford's imported vehicles-- there's an agreement, it's impossible to dismiss that. Is Donald Trump speaking to the most conservative electorate of his party or is he talking to an educated audience? Because who ever reads them would understand that Trump's proposals don't make any sense.

 MAGOWAN: They do make sense. You said the key word, educated readers. He's speaking like a business man. He basically said, NAFTA was a huge mistake. What he's trying to do with his proposals, for example, taxing cars that are produced in Mexico, is to try to reduce the costs that according to him, have been levied on the United States as a consequence of NAFTA--

LOPEZ: But a president can't do that! 

MAGOWAN: Of course a president can't do that, but this is the businessman speaking.      

LOPEZ: Who wants to be a party's candidate. For example, he says that he would eliminate Deferred Action, that he'd eliminate birthright citizenship. To do that, he'd need a constitutional reform. To reform the Constitution you need legislative action and the support of three fourths of the States, which a President can't do. Which is why, you hear Trump talking about things he can't do, that a President can't do, so it's like he's talking to a very particular sector of the Republican Party.

MAGOWAN: Well, he's not the first presidential candidate to promise things he know he can't do. Let's go back to President Obama promising that on his first year he would pass immigration reform, he knew very well it wasn't going to pass because the people in his own party weren't going to support him, so he focused on other things like health care, etc. That's typical of politicians, basically, promise something they know they can't do.


LOPEZ: He said, undocumented immigrants have to go, even if they have families, they have to go. Deferred action has to be over. But the paradox is that as a businessman he's in the sector of hospitality and construction, which have undocumented labor. If this is a frank and concrete conversation, why doesn't he talk as an employer, about how employers benefit from cheaper labor. But that isn't part of the debate. The debate is focused on how undocumented workers violated laws and they have to go, and no one talks about how someone enabled them to do so. [Translated from CNN en Español, Directo USA, 8/17/15]    

Agencias EFE: “Latino Groups” Call Trump's Plan “Irrational.” Agencias EFE highlighted statements from the largest Hispanic organizations, who called the plan “irrational” and “dehumanizing”:

“The plan is dehumanizing and based on hate, it contains proposals that are totally irrational and go against the majority of Americans,” said Cristina Jimenez, director of the youth movement United We Dream (UWD).  

Ben Monterroso, director of Mi Familia Vota, expressed an opinion in the same sense, saying “it's an attack on our community” and called Hispanics to join together and massively go to the polls in 2016. [Translated from El Nuevo Herald, Agencias EFE, 8/17/15]

La Opinión: Trump's Massive Deportation Plan: “Huge Expenditure” And “Economic Decrease.” La Opinión, cited a March 2015 study by the conservative American Action Forum to state that Donald Trump's plan would raise federal spending by 600 billion dollars, while “notoriously reducing” the size of the American economy: 

Donald Trump's immigration plan would raise federal spending by 600 billion dollars and would notoriously reduce the size of the American economy and the Gross Domestic Product. These estimates come from a conservative group. [Translated from La Opinión8/17/15; American Action Forum, 3/6/15