President Barack Obama doesn’t think much of Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
In an interview on ABC Nov. 13, anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Obama for his comments on the candidate’s deportation ideas, which is based on an Eisenhower-era plan called “Operation Wetback.” The plan envisions a deportation force that would remove every undocumented immigrant from the United States.
The president wasn’t shy about calling it baloney.
“Imagine the images on the screen flashed around the world as we were dragging parents away from their children, and putting them in what, detention centers, and then systematically sending them out,” Obama told Stephanopolous. “Nobody thinks that that is realistic. But more importantly, that’s not who we are as Americans.”
Few politicians, whether Republican or Democrat, endorse the forceful deportation of illegal immigrants. In addition to being inhumane, removing all undocumented residents would be prohibitively expensive. The American Action Forum estimates that the government would have to spend between $400 and $600 billion dollars in order to successfully locate, apprehend, prosecute, and deport every one of the US’s 11.6 million undocumented workers. That’s about the size of the budget for the US military in 2013.