Donald Trump was long on the bloviating, as usual, but short on specifics when asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos how he would pay for his immigration plan: Trump Grilled On How He’ll Fulfill His Pledge To Deport Every Undocumented Immigrant, Has No Answers:
Donald Trump has made a hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants a hallmark of his campaign. On ABC’s This Week, he was pressed repeated on his pledge to immediately deport every undocumented immigrant. Although credible sources estimate there are around 11 million such immigrants, Trump claimed there were as many as 30 million.
But pressed repeatedly on how he would accomplish this monumental feat, Trump had no answers. [...]
An analysis by the Center For American Progress estimates deporting 11.3 million people would cost $10,070 per person, or $114 billion. That only covers the “direct cost of physically deporting unauthorized immigrants.” The conservative American Action Forum, considering the total cost to the economy, estimates mass deportation of all undocumented immigrants would cost between $420 billion and $620 billion and take 20 years.
The only response Trump had to offer Stephanopolous was that he'd execute his immigration plan through "management." So in other words, he doesn't have a clue.
Here's the full transcript of their exchange via ABC:
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. But, let's talk about you right now and your new immigration plan. You've been talking about on the stump, all of opponents having to react to it at this point. Jeb Bush one of the people that reacted to this thing, it's going to cost hundreds of billions.
And look at this from the American Action Forum, conservative group. They say the federal government would have to spend roughly $400 to $600 billion to address the 11.2 million undocumented immigrants. Each immigrant would have to be apprehended, detained, legally processed, transported to his or her own country. In turn, this would shrink the labor force by 11 million workers, reduce real GDP by $1.6 trillion.
Are you willing to pay that price? And where are you going to get the money?
TRUMP: Well, first of all they're wrong. And, you know, Jeb is a very low energy person. He'd never be able to do it. He's the one that said they come out of an act of love, OK. This is an act of love. These are people coming and many of them -- you look at what's happening with the crime. Many of them are really causing tremendous problems. And they would be out really fast, immediately. First day we start that movement.
We need a wall. We have to get a wall. We need great security. And we're going to have a wall that will be not let people in, George.
And, by the way, legally, if you're legal you can come in. And we'll cherish you for coming in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me press you on the costs right there, Mr. Trump. They're saying $400 billion to $600 billion. It would require big government apparatus to take everybody down. If you don't think those numbers are right, how much is it going to cost and where are you going to get the money?
TRUMP: Well, it's costing us $130 billion a year and that's peanuts compared to what the real cost is, George, for the way we have it now. You have so many illegals. We don't even know how many illegals. I hear 11 million. I hear 30 million.
The government has no idea. We have lost control of our country. We've lost control of our borders. The government has no idea how many illegals there. I've been hearing 11 million for five years. Then the other day I heard 30.
Nobody has any idea (INAUDIBLE)...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if there's no idea, how are you going to round them all up?
Where are you going to get the money, where are you going to get the forces?
Exactly how are you going to do it?
What are the specifics here?
TRUMP: George, it's called management. And the first thing we have to do is secure the border. But it's called management. And we'll get people back in, the really good ones, we're going to expedite it, so they get back in, so they can at least come in legally.
But we have to do it...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You keep declaring how you're going to do it...
TRUMP: It's management.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- but you don't say...
TRUMP: We don't...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- how.
TRUMP: Excuse me, George?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You declare how you're going to do it, but you don't say how.
TRUMP: George, I'm telling you, it's called management. You can do this and we can expedite the good ones to come back in. And everybody wants that. But they have to come in legally.
We have a country, we have to have -- we're a country of laws. We're a country of borders.
How can you have a country without a border?
How can you have a country without laws?
We have to do it. And by the way, what you said in your piece initially is the gang members. You look at the gang members in Baltimore, Chicago, in Ferguson, these people, a lot of them, are illegals. These are rough dudes. And we're going to get them to hell out fast.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I -- I understand that you think it's a huge problem, but I still don't hear specifics on how you're going to do this.
Are you example...
TRUMP: Well, you'll see...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- for example...
TRUMP: -- my specifics, George. But my specifics are very sample -- I'm going to get great people that know what they're doing, not a bunch of political hacks that have no idea what they're doing, appointed by President Obama, that doesn't have a clue. I mean that man doesn't have a clue.
People are walking across the border right now, right in front of these great people that we have. We have wonderful Border Patrol people. They can do their job. but they're not allowed to do the job.
People are walking right into our country totally un -- nobody even knows where they come from. They walk right past guards that are told not to do anything.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you expect neighbors to start turning in neighbors?
TRUMP: I don't know what's going to happen. I can tell you this, we have to have a country -- we're a country of laws and we have to do it that way, George. There's nothing we can do about it if we're going to -- if we're going to stand as a country.
There's no choice. We have no choice. We have to do it properly.
Now, the candidates that are running against me like -- like Jeb Bush, he has no clue. He's never going to be able to do anything. You just looked at what's happened with him over the years and what's happened with -- the last thing we need is another Bush.
But Scott Walker has changed his mind now, because he keeps going back to his pollster, and his pollster says, oh, Trump has a good idea, oh, Trump has a bad idea, oh, no, wait a minute, Trump has a good idea.
These people don't know what they're doing, George. They're politicians.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I (INAUDIBLE)...
TRUMP: They don't know management. I get the best people and we will do it properly and we will do it humanely and get the good ones back in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I still haven't heard the specifics on how you're going to do that, but I'm going to move on...
TRUMP: Well, you'll hear it, George. Don't worry about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm going to move on right now.
TRUMP: You'll hear it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Scott Walker...
TRUMP: It's called good management and it's called great people.