The Majority Of GOP Voters Want Mass Deportation, But It’ll Cost Them

by ESTHER YU-HSI LEE –

immigrant deportation

Sixty-three percent of Republican voters would support deporting the population of 11 million undocumented immigrants, according to a new CNN/ORC poll taken in the days following Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants being drug dealers and rapists.

The poll asked the following question to 1,017 adults, including 898 registered voters, across the United States:

What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration — developing a plan that would allow illegal immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents, or developing a plan for stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and for deporting those already here?

According to the poll, white Evangelicals, older voters, people who did not attend college, Republicans, and voters who live in rural areas tended to be more supportive of deportation compared to granting legal status to the undocumented population.

CNN reported that “Republican voters who say their views are not represented at all by the government in Washington are far more likely than other Republicans to back Trump’s run for the White House,” many of whom also favor his position to focus on border security and deport undocumented immigrants.

But while Trump’s anti-immigrant views may be helping him in the polls, actually deporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States would not only negatively impact the U.S. economy (especially in the agricultural industry), but would also require a serious increase in the country’s immigration enforcement budget.

The center-right organization American Action Forum (AAF) found that it would cost between $400 billion and $600 billion to apprehend, detain, legally process, and transport every undocumented immigrant back to their countries of origin. Breaking down similar statistics, a Center of American Progress report found that it would cost an average of about $10,070 to deport each individual. The AAF report also found that without the 11 million undocumented immigrants, the U.S. labor force would shrink and real GDP would be reduced by $1.6 trillion.

While some federal bills have been tossed around in Congress that come close to criminalizing segments of the undocumented population, only a handful of states like Alabama and Arizona have come the closest to actually driving out immigrants.

Arizona’s SB 1070, most memorable for its “show me your paper” law, which made life as difficult as possible for undocumented immigrants, drove out educated immigrants as well as business partnerships. In the first year after passing SB 1070, Arizona’s economy lost $141 million in losses from conference cancellations, and the tourist industry took a $250 million hit, with close to 3,000 jobs lost.

When Alabama passed its own anti-immigrant law in 2011, work at some companies that require strenuous labor nearly stopped. A chicken factory found that the “turnover rate has gone through the roof,” while crops rotted on various farms. A University of Alabama report put the estimated economic damage at around $11 billion.

 

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress 

 

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