Finally, some answers

In which I take a break from Dawkins and the Summa to deal with Merkur’s response.

I have no idea how many immigrants it’s possible to deport from the United States in any given space of time.

If you have no idea, then I suggest that you should stop speaking in ignorance. The empirical evidence is that a number between 221 thousand per year and 840 thousand per year can be repatriated without harming anyone. The only pertinent logistical question is whether the gap between 840 thousand per year and 1.5 million per year can be surmounted without resorting to Nazi/Communist methods.

Regardless, 12 million aliens can clearly be repatriated without harm in 14 years, if not necessarily the eight years I originally projected based on the “crass” analogy.

a) it won’t be politically acceptable to a huge number of people. Your response to this has been to fume about how “anti-American” politicians control the government. Considering that a number of people commenting here believe that all politicians are “anti-American”, is it realistic to expect that those politicians will be removed from power?

Amnesty isn’t politically acceptable to a huge number of people, and yet the politicians are repeatedly going after it. It would seem unlikely that enough anti-American politicians will be removed from power to begin mass repatriations in the near future, but then, that’s part of the democratic process. I note that the move for amnesty has more people talking openly about mass repatriation than ever before. 2008? No. 2012, maybe. 2016, very possibly.

b) that it won’t be sustainable without throwing even more money at the border. While you may have discussed it in other places, you haven’t introduced any proposals here. Is it realistic to expect sufficient funds to be put into such a scheme considering the lack of political support mentioned above?

I estimate that repatriating every single illegal alien would cost less than five years of the tax-benefit delta. From a financial point of view, we can’t afford to NOT repatriate the illegal population.

c) that it can’t be done without destroying people’s livelihoods and undermining basic civil rights. Your response to this has been to talk about how much it would cost to buy comfortable buses, which should tell most people all they need to know about the depth of your thinking. Is it realistic to expect that this would go without mass protests – not just by the immigrants themselves – and continuous legal challenges from civil rights groups?

The mass protests would make Americans more pro-repatriation, not less, as evidenced by the subdued pro-illegal demonstrations this year after the political blowback from the protests the previous year. And considering how the US government doesn’t respect the rights of its actual citizens, I’m not terribly concerned about the nonexistent rights of non-citizens.

d) that it would undermine relations with the Mexican and other Latin American governments. You appear not to care about this in the slightest, which is nice for you but not much use for actual politicians who have to think about these things. Is it realistic to expect that those governments will simply accept such an operation?

Yes. What is Mexico going to do, threaten to invade us?

e) that from a logistical perspective this is a huge operation not just because of the size but because of the scope. Contrary to what you believe, the logistics of mass deportation (or repatriation, for that matter) are not just a question of awarding contracts – you’re dealing with a huge number of actual people who generally don’t co-operate when their livelihoods are under threat. Oh, it’s possible to deport them piecemeal, which is what is being done right now – 6 million of them between 2001 and 2006 – but is it realistic to expect the government to sweep the country, when they can’t even track the displaced from Hurricane Katrina?

They’re not even trying to track the displaced, that’s irrelevant. As numerous folks have pointed out, we probably wouldn’t have to repatriate one million, as most illegals will head home before getting picked up.

f) that the basic reason why immigrants arrive in the US is to work. You have nothing to say about this, except to let everybody fume about how they’re coming in and using the resources of a welfare system that you don’t even agree with. Is it realistic to expect them to stop trying to come to the US by whatever means they have available?

I don’t care why they came here, that’s irrelevant. They are here where they have, quite literally, no right to be. There’s no shortage of illegals who don’t work, if they were working then they wouldn’t be on welfare or in public schools. We can probably get half of the 12 million to go home simply by refusing to provide social services to them.

Completely eliminating the welfare system is an excellent idea, we can nail two or more birds with that single stone. I have no doubt that the US military is perfectly capable of defending the nation’s borders if it is commanded to do so, if it isn’t, we might as well retroactively surrender to Japan and Germany.