Yet Trump’s off-the-cuff policy proposals were problematic from the beginning, even in the view of immigration hawks. “NumbersUSA has always opposed mass deportation,” says Beck. “It’s impractical, it’s too expensive, and it’s unnecessary.”
Contrary to reports that warring camps within the Trump campaign are pulling the candidate in different directions on the issue, his advisers, including Alabama senator Jeff Sessions and senior policy aide Stephen Miller, have been nearly unanimous in urging him to back away from the sort of “deportation force” he promised to in the primary.
It’s a notion he first floated in November of last year, after praising Dwight Eisenhower’s immigration policies in a Republican debate. “Dwight Eisenhower, you don’t get nicer,” Trump said. “You don’t get friendlier. They moved 1.5 million out. We have no choice. We have no choice.” The following day, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he said he would create a “deportation force” to return illegal immigrants to Mexico.
“He had to walk back this ‘deport all the illegals with deportation squads,’” says Krikorian. “That was baloney, they should’ve fixed that the next day.”