George Will: Deporting All Illegal Immigrants Will Never Happen

During the same This Week appearance that included the fascinating discussion on the Constitution that James Joyner wrote about earlier, George Will also spoke some common sense on the issue of immigration, and GOP intransigence over the issue:

“To deport them would require not just police measures we would never tolerate. The majority have been here five years or more, they’ve had children here, their children are citizens. But to depart them would require a line of buses bumper-to-bumper extending from San Diego to Alaska. Not going to happen. And as soon as people come to terms with that, then we get on to settling it.”

Will is, of course, absolutely correct.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Will simultaneously remains one of the most insightful conservative commenters out there and an occasional crank. In addition to tripe about blue jeans and global warming, he pretends that Obama is the straw that broke the camel’s back on limited government.

    Amusingly, he’s also not always self-aware. He observed a couple shows back that Jon Huntsman is supported by people who don’t like Republicans very much. But that’s increasingly true of George Will, who is much more like Huntsman than he is most of the conservative leadership of the GOP.

  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Not a fan of George Will, but here of course he’s absolutely correct. The notion that we could somehow identify, round up and then actually deport 11+ million people is so patently absurd you’d have to be brain dead or Pat Buchanan (I know, redundant) even to consider it.

    We do need some form of amnesty in connection with broad immigration reform. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s bullet point outline is a useful and cogent starting point. Don’t hold your breath, however.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Politics now turns on a whole host of issues that are defined by denial. People choose fairy tales over reason, and those people are disproportionately Republicans. This disconnect is I believe one reason they are so angry all the time. It’s exhausting believing things at odds with reality.

    In fact, if you subtract patent nonsense from the Republican belief system, you have almost nothing left. Republicanism is less and less a political philosophy and more and more a psychological disorder characterized by a sense of victimization, of oppression, a delusion that they are taxed at record rates (no) and that their lives are dominated by the federal government (no) and that everything was just fine until January of 2009 (not so much.) Add to that the lingering racism, the contempt for gays, the hatred of Muslims, the contempt for Mexicans, the rejection of science, the lives lived entirely within the Fox/Limbaugh bubble, the paranoia, the weird nostalgia for an entirely fictitious time, the denial of their own dependency, the refusal to accept responsibility . . .

    The GOP is out of contact with reality.

  4. Boyd says:

    Just to be contentious, I’d like to point out that it’s not a binary decision, Nicholas (Nick? Tsar? T-man?). It’s not merely a choice between some form of amnesty and deporting all illegal aliens. It would be possible to leave them as illegal and only deport them as their illegal presence comes to the attention of the government.

  5. superderstroyer says:

    IN the 1980’s the Reagan Administration gave 3 million illegal aliens amnesty with a promise of border security and enforcement. Of course, the government lied and there was no border security and no enforcement.
    +If the government is going to talk about giving amnesty to 10+ million illegal aliens, the government is going to have, for a very long time, a real commitment to enforcement and border control.

    Given the failures of the government in the past, giving amnesty to 10 million illegal immigrants today would mean 30-50 million in the future and would mean that whites would abandon California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. The last few whites in the U.S. would be packing themselves into Maine, and Minnesota to avoid the barrio that would be most of the U.S.

  6. JMW says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II

    You’re wrong, we dodn’t need an amnesty. Furthermore, no one is calling for the deportation of all illegals at once. All we’re asking is that the border be secured and for our written immigration laws to be enforced. Attrition through enforcement will work if given half a chance. Many of those not deported will self-deport when the heat is turned on. Why stay when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, can’t get a job, can’t get any benefits?

  7. JMW says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s funny, I feel the same way about about liberals.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @JMW: Can you cite examples of liberals being out of touch with reality?

  9. superderstroyer says:

    MR,

    There are many things that liberals refuse to face reality.

    The belief that whites and blacks commit crimes at the same rates even though the Justice of Department statistics show the opposite. The idea that if funding was equal between majority white schools and majority black schools even though inner city schools are funded at higher levels that schools in the suburbs or exurbs. That one molecule of a toxin can be hazardous when in reality the dose makes the poison. That the U.S. can have open borders and unlimited immigraiton while lowering our energy usage. Should I go on.

    if you ever want to see how liberals think, see the difference between someone like Al Gore lives his personal life and then how he wants the rest of us to live.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @superderstroyer:
    I don’t know any liberal who thinks blacks and whites have the same crime levels. We can read statistics. Your second point is a rambling sentence with no conclusion. I don’t know anyone who believes a single molecule of toxin is poison, unless we’re talking plutonium. The people who want open borders and unlimited immigration are libertarians, not liberals. And what the hell that has to do with energy is anyone’s guess.

    So that’s you being 100% wrong. Every single point. I wish I could say I was surprised.

  11. Bernieyeball says:

    @Boyd: Which government? Federal, State, County, City, Local School District?
    I guess the INS never deports anyone.

  12. Tano says:

    All we’re asking is that the border be secured and for our written immigration laws to be enforced

    Why not ask for a rational immigration policy instead?

    It is so odd that people who tend to defend free markets are so intent on strict governmental regulation of the labor market. The fact is that there is a need for lower-skilled labor in our markets and our immigration laws do not address that.

    Some people oppose all immigration. Others seem focused on allowing the best and the brightest in the world to be let in. But being open to less educated or less skilled workers is a political dead end. So there is no pressure to set the legal immigration levels at anything close to what the economy needs there to be. For every genius entrepreneur who you let in to set up a business, you need hundreds or thousands of workers, some of whom may need to do some pretty mindless drudge work.

    It seems to be a classic case of government regulating some aspect of the marketplace and doing so with a heavy and clueless hand, giving rise to all manner of derivative problems. A black market in cheap labor being the most prominent.

    Cleaning up this black market, by deporting the workers, or even just “securing the borders” is as irrational, and as doomed to failure as prohibition was, or the war on drugs is.

    Immigration levels need to be set according to the needs of the economy. The fact that the overwhelming proportion of illegals are working is testament to the fact that those levels are not properly set. Once there are legal paths available to a sufficient number of workers given the needs of the economy, then enforcement of these new, rational limits would be easier, given that any illegals at the time would not find ready access to work.

  13. superdestroyer says:

    Tano,

    Illegal immigrants cheat on welfare all of the time and are very good at scamming on income taxes. They find job by forcing wages down and driving non-illegal immigrants out of the workforce (see dry wall installation) or landscapping. The illegal aliens compete by packing themselves into housing, not purchasing insurance, cheating on welfare, and depending on family members or clan members to help.

    Do you really want to live in a world where everyone in the U.S, except the elites, have to live like a third world refugee in order to survive?

  14. Boyd says:

    @Bernieyeball: The specific government is irrelevant to the point I was addressing, which is that it’s not a binary decision between the choices Nicholas provided, i.e., deport all illegal aliens or give virtually all illegal aliens amnesty.

    Regarding your INS point, I have no idea what you’re talking about. It seems to be only tangentially related to my comment.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    Do you really want to live in a world where everyone in the U.S, except the elites, have to live like a third world refugee in order to survive?

    Those brown people really scare the $hit out of you, don’t they? It’s quite easy to understand what keeps you up at night…

  16. Cynic in NY says:

    Lew Rockwell has been saying this for years, what took Will so long? In addition I always love when Paleocons/Buchanites complain that illegal aliens use the welfare system but yet never call for the welfare system to be abolished. For a bunch of conservatives who bill themselves as “true cons” (whatever the hell that means) they sure love the steal-fare system. If anything illegal immigration should be further proof that welfare/organized theft is not workable.

  17. superdestroyer says:

    I.P,

    Why do you think that El Paso has fewer white living there today than they did 20 or more years ago. Why do you think California has fewer whites living there today than they did a decade ago?
    As the Hispanic population
    grows, they naturally push out whites (and blacks) and the area becomes an economic basket case.

    The real quesiton is why are liberals wanting to turn wide areas of the U.S. into the barrio?

    Also, do progressives hate middle class white so much that they want to replace them with immigrants who will lower the standard of living of most Americans just to spite those whites?

  18. superdestroyer says:

    Cynic,

    The problem with the welfare system is that so many blocks inside the Democratic Party such as blacks, Hispanics, and public sector unions all support the massive welfare system. What is more likely: that the U.S. can control its own borders or that the modern welfare state will be ended.

    If keeping illegal aliens is too hard a job for American, then control the nanny state is an even more difficult.

  19. Cynic in NY says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Yes Ive heard this standard conservative dribble before but when will conservatives grow some balls? The answer is never, it’s easier for you to point the finger at the opposition (or for you Paleos, minority groups) than actually doing something about it.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Super:

    You’re really a classic case: a lower economic stratum white who has been trained to blame minorities.

    It’s never your fault you’re not doing well. Of course. Because then who would you hate?

    And it can’t be the fault of wealthy whites — like the ones who employ illegals, like the ones who profit from throwing people like you out of work — because you’ve been brainwashed to see it as all about race. The reason you’ve been brainwashed is of course so that you and other working class whites won’t ever join with working class blacks and Hispanics to make common cause against the plantation owner.

    You’re a sucker. The same kind of dumb sucker who went off to fight in 1860 for the rights of rich whites to keep people like you at a bare subsistence living. The same dumb sucker who was brought in to break strikes.

    The wealthy use people like you, and abuse people like you, and all they have to do to control you is point a finger at a black or brown man and you’re neutralized. They laugh their asses off at people like you, Supersucker.

  21. Ernieyeball says:

    @Boyd: Forgive me sir. I took “It would be possible to leave them as illegal and only deport them as their illegal presence comes to the attention of the government.” to be your remedy for the current situation.
    Silly me, I thought that is what the INS was already doing. Of course they aren’t. The INS does not exist anymore.
    We are to be grateful to Enforcement and Removal Operations of the Department of Homeland Security to rid our shores of illegals. “ERO is responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and ensuring the departure of all removable aliens from the United States.” per WikiP.
    Thank you for the opportunity to learn something I did not know.

  22. Boyd says:

    @michael reynolds: Ah, yes, the evil, greedy, rich white bastards, the liberal slur that never gets old. I thought a talented writer such as yourself might be able to come up with some new and inventive insults.

    @Ernieyeball: There is no right answer, as one quickly learns around here whenever one is so presumptuous to claim that one has the right answer.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @Boyd: And I thought maybe you could address the issue rather than falling back on a theatrical yawn.

  24. Loviatar says:

    MR

    The wealthy use people like you, and abuse people like you, and all they have to do to control you is point a finger at a black or brown man and you’re neutralized. They laugh their asses off at people like you, Supersucker.

    THIS THIS THIS

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be using the name Supersucker in any future refernce to OTB’s alpha racist.

  25. Boyd says:

    @michael reynolds: What’s to address, Michael? You launched on a thought-free, insult-laden rant once again. As soon as I recognized it, I quit reading, since I’ve read it so many times before.

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The problem is the liberals have designed a system where Hispanics and Blacks see middle class whites as prey who will produce an economy and infrastruture that they can take advantage of and will pay the high taxes that will be transferred to them.

    The rich (who are really Democrats) use blacks and Hispancis (who the elite whites do not see as competition) to hold down the middle class whites. Why else do the rich elites in places like California want to use Hispanics to push the middle class whites out of places like California?

    And since you are into insults, you remind me of the people who always apologize from everyone from Stalin to Castro because your hatred to the middle class is the overriding motivation in politics.

  27. Dave Schuler says:

    The problem is the liberals have designed a system where Hispanics and Blacks see middle class whites as prey who will produce an economy and infrastruture that they can take advantage of and will pay the high taxes that will be transferred to them.

    Oh, fiddle-dee-dee. Can you produce some evidence of that? Rent-seeking per se isn’t the evidence you’re looking for–it’s as common among white bankers as it is among minorities and a lot more remunerative. Frankly, I doubt a lot of the people looking for an expansion of government services much care where the money comes from.

  28. Dave Schuler says:

    To deport them would require not just police measures we would never tolerate. The majority have been here five years or more, they’ve had children here, their children are citizens. But to depart them would require a line of buses bumper-to-bumper extending from San Diego to Alaska. Not going to happen.

    Contra Doug, I think that’s an incredibly weak argument. Isn’t that an argument against laws, generally? I. e. if you can’t enforce them perfectly we shouldn’t enforce them at all? What law would stand up to that standard?

    Just to repeat my position on immigration, it’s not terribly dissimilar from Will’s or Mickey Kaus’s: I think we should greatly increase the number of work visas for which Mexican citizens are eligible, greatly increase border and work place enforcement, and, as Will put it, staple a green card to every PhD earned by a foreign national in the U. S.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    The rich (who are really Democrats)

    See, that’s fascinating that you believe that. It’s probably much more revealing than you intend it to be. So, using your example, contractors who refuse to pay a living wage and hire illegals to do sheet rock are all liberals. And so are farmers. And so are the big retailers who force down farm prices. Contractors, Agribusiness and Wal-Mart, all a bunch of liberals.

    I never know whether to laugh at you Supersucker or cry for you. You’re just such a sap.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    Boyd:

    You’re voguing. Madonna did it better.

  31. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar: Well, for you I’ll suspend my usual 5 cent royalty.

  32. Tano says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The rich (who are really Democrats) use blacks and Hispancis (who the elite whites do not see as competition) to hold down the middle class whites.

    If you believe this, then why don’t you try to forge an alliance between middle class whites and blacks and Hispanics – to unite against the “rich Democrats” who oppress everyone?

    Why play into their manipulations and turn against others who are in the same boat as you?

  33. Boyd says:

    @michael reynolds: I guess I’m just stupid, because I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

  34. matt says:

    Superdestroyer :

    It’s funny that you should mention El Paso. El Paso is doing quite well economically despite our ridiculous drug policies driving up violence just south of the border. Before the war on drugs kicked into high gear years ago Ciudad Juárez was one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a tech and assembly industry that was booming. While Ciudad Juárez is still one of the fastest growing cities in the world it’s also now considered one of the most violent zones in the world outside of a declared war zone. Despite all the drug violence just south of the border El Paso is still one of the safest big cities in the country. The economy in El Paso is actually growing and doing better then most of the rest of Texas at this moment.

  35. Anyone else find it funny that conservatives have no problem with expanding the size of the federal government by adding more ICE agents and United States Attorneys to deport illegals, but constantly complain about the size of the federal government? And they have no problem adding more and more regulations on businesses about who they can employ, but constantly compare about “burdensome” regulations on businesses?

  36. Jay Tea says:

    No, we probably can’t export every single illegal alien. But that’s no reason to simply give up. That’s letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. “Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?”

    J.

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @matt:

    Matt,

    The unemployment rate in El Paso is 10% http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.tx_elpaso_msa.htm versus a state wide unemployment rate of 8% for Texas. http://www.bls.gov/lau/. Not exactly better than the rest of Texas but 11.7% for California.

    El Paso also has a lower per capita family income than Texas as a whole. In addition, the crime rate has had a massive decrease in just the last couple of years. That could easily be a sign that the crime data is being gamed because the murder rate did not change very much but the assault rate dropped by over 30% since 2000. Also, the care theft rate has not really gone down so that is another sign that the crime data is being gamed.
    http://www.city-data.com/city/El-Paso-Texas.html.

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Michael,

    The uber rich are overwhelmingly Democrats.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/10/13/the-rich-support-mccain-the-super-rich-support-obama/

    The idea that there a bunch of rich white Republicans living in Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, or DC is laughable. The uber-rich want a big government because they get rich off of the big government and use the government to harm their competitors.

    It is the NY Times and the Los Angeles Times who beat the drum the loudest for open borders and unlimited immigration, no the upper middle class in Omaha or Oklahoma City.

    However, there is nothing that conservatives can do about the destruction of the middle class and the left want to put an end to the middle class.

    So the real question is what will the U.S. be like when there is only one political party, a massive number of poor and a small group of elites. Maybe current day Mexico is the model that the U.S. should be looking at.

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Dave,

    You should be able to see a good example in Luis Guiterrez. He has zero use for whites and is motivated only by what is good for Hispanics. http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/kausfiles/2010/11/30/does-obama-have-a-lame-duck-strategy.html

  40. sam says:

    I think Georgia is on the right track, and the other states should emulate its policies tout de suite. Of course, we’ll have to give up vegetables and fruit, but that is a small price to pay if we are to be wetbackenfrei.

  41. James Joyner says:

    @Dave Schuler: Given the job prospects for PhDs outside the hard sciences, I’m not sure that’s a good idea! But, yeah, I’m for “open borders” for smart, disciplined people.

  42. Dave Schuler says:

    @superdestroyer:
    The quote you produced doesn’t instantiate your claim. Luis Guiterrez’s position doesn’t illustrate a predatory attitude on his part or on the part of Hispanics, generally. It just shows that he knows who his constituents are.

  43. James Joyner says:

    @Timothy Watson: I think the hardline conservative position on illegal immigration is wrong, but you’re attacking a straw man. Conservatives want a strong security state. They support cutting social welfare programs, not the military, intelligence, and law enforcement.

    And while I think we need a more rational policy with respect to Latin American work visas, the notion that employers having to obey the law by not hiring people they know damn well are illegal aliens is not the sort of “burdensome regulation” that conservatives oppose.

  44. superdestroyer says:

    @James Joyner:
    Not hiring people they know are illegal aliens is too close to profiling for the comfort of the left. There is no form of employer enforcement that progressives will ever agree to enforce. There is no form of border security that progressives will ever support.

    As long as progressives believe that Hispanics will automatically vote for Democrats, progressives will support open borders and unlimited immigration. It is more likely that progressives will stop supporting immigration for educated Asians because that groups competes for spaces at tier I universities that progressives believe are the only way to get a college education.

  45. mantis says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Contra Doug, I think that’s an incredibly weak argument. Isn’t that an argument against laws, generally? I. e. if you can’t enforce them perfectly we shouldn’t enforce them at all? What law would stand up to that standard?

    It’s not an argument against laws, but an argument against destructive, unrealistic, unenforceable laws. Kind of like the drug war. Laws that ruin families, hurt the economy, increase crime rates, and don’t actually do much to solve the problems they are designed to deal with. Most laws aren’t like that.

  46. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer: So liberalism makes people rich? Excellent! One wonders then why Republicans remain Republicans. Maybe they should switch parties and get that billion dollar check.

    Listen closely: the industry you yourself cite — construction — is most definitely NOT a Democratic stronghold. Neither is meat-packing or agri-business, two of the other major employers of illegals.

    Apple and Google don’t hire illegals, and those are run by liberals.

  47. matt says:

    The unemployment rate in El Paso is 10% http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.tx_elpaso_msa.htm versus a state wide unemployment rate of 8% for Texas. http://www.bls.gov/lau/. Not exactly better than the rest of Texas but 11.7% for California.

    That data is incorrect. Actual statewide unemployment is higher and is also higher then the national average. Texas did well into the recession but as the rest of the country is starting to pull out of it Texas is still suffering pretty badly. I’ve been to many job interviews where there were a hundred or people applying for one job (not even great paying jobs at that). A friend of mine that manages a fast food place was bitching to me the other day about the “ridiculous amount of applications” he gets a day. Sure certain people are pretending that the job market here is hunky dory but it’s far from the truth.

    El Paso also has a lower per capita family income than Texas as a whole. In addition, the crime rate has had a massive decrease in just the last couple of years. That could easily be a sign that the crime data is being gamed because the murder rate did not change very much but the assault rate dropped by over 30% since 2000. Also, the care theft rate has not really gone down so that is another sign that the crime data is being gamed.

    11 years ago is not a couple years and people have been reporting on the low crime since the early 2000s (including local media). I live in Texas and the people here are well aware of the low crime in El paso. The surprisingly low crime rate is so well known here that the Texas monthly has done several articles on the subject.

  48. matt says:

    I meant to say the data is being fudged on the state wide level. The newspapers down here tend to peg the real unemployment % as closer to 11%..

  49. superdestroyer says:

    @matt:

    How about giving a link to a newspaper articles that reports the 11%. I doubt that a newspaper would have better information than the bureau of labor statistics. Unless you mean that it is an alternative weekly.

    People apply for jobs because they are looking for better jobs. Any job announced on something like Monster.com will get 100’s of applications.

    I find it odd that progressives so always insist on multiple government quality references is using anecdotal stories and a reference to an uncited newpaper article as better proof than BLS data.

  50. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds: ]

    Michael,

    Apple employes 45K, Google employs less than 25k according to their wikipedia pages that is referenced to SEC filings.

    Cargill, one of those evil agricultural corporations, employees 170K

    Maybe the problem that progressives have is that they believe that any white who cannot get admitted to an Ivy League and get a job at Apple or Google is just another ” lower economic stratum white” who deserves to be replaced with illiterate hispanics or blacks.

    Thank you for showing how you really feel about your fellow Americans: that you want them replaced.