Donald Trump’s plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants spells real trouble for the GOP!

During the last debate, only former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich told it like it is and criticized Trump to his face on the issue.

Bush said that Trump’s plan was “just not possible” adding that it’s “not embracing American values . . . would tear communities apart, and would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is.”

Kasich added that we “all know you can’t pick them up and ship them back across the border . . . It is a silly argument, it is not an adult argument.”

I believe time will show that this dialogue on one of the most important issues facing America was one of the major highlights of the entire debate/campaign season — which most pundits missed.

They did not give Bush or Kasich credit and ranked them low in performance. That’s probably because most of the major commentators on English language networks are not Hispanic, with no Hispanic relatives who might be subject to Trump’s plan.

That said, it was opportune timing and it is really amazing — unfortunate — that only Bush and Kasich dared challenge Trump’s deportation policy on the spot.

Although Marco Rubio made no comment on the issue during the debate while Bush and Kasich were going after Trump, in fairness, he has said that Trump’s plan was “absurd” and “makes no sense.”

While most of the other candidates tried to jump in at every opening on every other subject, they didn’t seem anxious to take a position on Trump’s deportation plan —including Rubio. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Nev., astutely changed the subject with a “what if” hypothetical on what American media would say if journalists were crossing the border and depressing American journalists’ salaries?

Applause, laughter — issue forgotten.

The problem is that Bush and Kasich were too polite.

They should have confronted Trump on how many box cars, trains, and detention camps it will take to deport, as Bush said, “500,000 people a month?”

Even more striking is why none of the other candidates, or even the moderators in this and other debates, have asked Trump the tough questions such as those raised in this space two months ago:

• Will he sign an executive order to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and their children?

• How many detention camps and holding centers will it take to house them while awaiting deportation?

• How will he pay for it?

During and after the debate, Trump compared his plan to President Dwight Eisenhower’s immigration plan in the 1950’s (“Operation Wetback”) which was designed to send illegal Mexican immigrants back to Mexico.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, it was a “quasi-military operation of search and seizure of all unauthorized immigrants.”

Under the Trump plan, “deportation police” would most likely do sweeps throughout the country to root out undocumented men, women, and children.

So how will he implement the program? It’s a mystery. He really won’t tell us. All he will say, as he has in the past, is that he would “round them all up in a very humane way, in a very nice way.  . . . “

During the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see which of Trump’s opponents will step up like Bush, Kasich, and Rubio and say that his program is wrong and that there is a better way.

The question is what would a Donald “Round ’em” Up” Trump nominee mean for the Republican Party in 2016? Serious trouble!

After all, who is going to vote for someone who promises to put their mother, father, grandparents, friends, or employees on a train or bus and send them away?

Perhaps the Trump campaign could use a bit of sensitivity training on how to relate to our nation’s diversity.


Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets.