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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

It is Procedurally Impossible to Deport 12 Million in 8 Years

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My latest op-ed has been published on where I address Ted Cruz's promise to deport 12 million people if elected President. In it I explain that given current immigration court resources it would be a procedural impossibility for any President to deport 12 million people in two terms.

Here is a snippet:

But back to Ted Cruz, who by all accounts is a respected and experienced constitutional lawyer. It is entirely possible, if not likely, that Senator Cruz has no experience navigating the murky waters of U.S. immigration law, let alone the procedural aspects of a deportation case. As such, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with respect to his immigration ambitions, as misinformed as they may be. With that said, Senator Cruz’s promise to effectuate the mass deportation of 12 million people in the next decade is little more than fool’s gold, and in addition to being intellectually dishonest, is the fastest way for him to make history as the first native-born Canadian of Cuban descent to alienate the Latino electorate, and with it any legitimate chance at winning the White House.

Click here to read the full article.

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Updated 02-25-2016 at 10:00 AM by MKolken


  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, isn't there at least one other GOP presidential candidate who has made the same promise as Cruz, but has gone even further by promising to build a Wall along the Mexican border and to use a "special task force" (which Cruz himself has said would amount to Nazi-era style "Jackboots") to round the 12 million people up and deport them?

    Doesn't this other politician also deserve a little mention or two in your article - especially since, as I understand it, he has won more primaries than Cruz has?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-24-2016 at 05:49 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Further to my last comment, it occurred to me that maybe Matt's not making any mention of Trump, even though Trump is just as much in favor of mass deportation as Cruz, if not even more so, is because maybe it wouldn't take Trump eight or more years to kick out 12 million people.

    Cruz, as the Constitutional lawyer he is, would certainly go through the immigration court system; hence the delays and backlogs that Matt describes.

    What basis is there for thinking that Trump would do the same? Isn't it entirely possible that Trump would dispense with "low energy" procedures such as immigration court hearings and just order his special task force (possibly renamed as "Special Security" or "SS") to throw everyone out without wasting time on legal formalities?

    After all, if the 12 million "illegals" came to America without inspection or overstayed their visas, it means that they are are "losers", for sure.

    There wouldn't be any room for 12 million losers in Donald Trump's America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-24-2016 at 09:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. MKolken's Avatar
    Anyone who knows the immigration law, is intellectually honest, and isn't suffering from Trump derangement syndrome understands that when Trump said that "They're going to have to go out. They can come back, but they're gonna have to go out" he ultimately is talking about 3/10 year bar relief, and not mass deportation, which is a policy that closely mirrors President Obama's provisional unlawful presence waiver.

    Ironically, Cruz gets it: "So Donald Trump's position is once you deport them, it's what's called touchback. A lot of establishment Republicans had touchback," Cruz said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. "Basically you make them fly back to their country for a minute, touch the ground, and then they come back with amnesty as citizens. Now, Donald is entitled to do that. He can advance that position, but he doesn't get to pretend that it's not amnesty if he's legalizing 12 million people [who are] here illegally."
    Updated 02-25-2016 at 08:22 AM by MKolken
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