Aggressive Deportation Will Hurt The U.S., and How To Pay For The Wall

602px Cortaro Farms Pinal County Arizona. Yaqui Indian cotton picker. Some are employed on this ranch th . . . NARA 522037
Five ways that the anti-immigration policy is going to economically kick us in the butt- and how to pay for the wall while letting Donald Trump save face. 
 
There are some in the US who believe illegal immigrants must be “punished” or “taught a lesson”.   I believe that pursuing a course like that is going to be cutting off our nose to spite our face – and that it is unnecessary.  If a lesson must be taught – make it economic, with a path to redemption.  
 
Why America Will Suffer If We Deport Everyone
 
First – immigrant labor in agriculture: it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants that pick crops in the US.  Farm owners who lose workers will not be able to harvest their crops. This is going to decrease our food supply, increase food prices and reduce our productivity as a nation.  
 
Second – home occupancy:  with millions of immigrants vacating apartments and houses, there will be a jump in the housing supply – this will depress prices and hurt property owners, especially landlords.  It will hurt the home building industry, particularly in the areas that have large quantities of immigrants like Florida and Texas.  
 
Third – this will put a chill on foreign investment in America.   In southwest Florida we have Canadians, Brits, Germans and other Europeans who buy homes and condos for investment, retirement, vacation.   Stricter immigration laws and nationalism being promoted by the new administration are going to cause all foreigners to think twice about buying here.  Why even consider buying in an unstable America?  Who will this government pick on next?  Some of these people will undoubtedly sell their homes out of fear and that will depress housing prices as well.
 
Fourth – Retail and Restaurants – these small and large businesses depend heavily on immigrants for various tasks from dishwashing to cooking and cashiers.  Major metropolitan areas benefit from millions of hard-working immigrants.  Deporting people and their purchasing power will hurt small businesses all across America.  
 
Fifth – The landscaping industry is a huge employer of immigrants.   Even state governments and local governments use immigrant labor through an intermediary and look the other way. You don’t have to be an immigration expert to take a look at the faces and hear the language used by most of these people, to know that they are immigrants*.   If illegal immigrants are sent back, then states and local cities will need to spend even more money to replace the people and the services they provided.
 
Should we allow this to proceed? Or, how to pay for the wall. 
 
   The initial estimates to build the wall between the US and Mexico are $20 billion dollars. Trump swears he will make Mexico pay.    Why not create a “path-to-citizenship” that involves a fee to pay for the wall?  
 
    If you charge 10 million illegal immigrants $2,000 each to stay here, there is the $20 billion needed to build a wall.  The families get to stay while the United States gets $20 billion.  There is minimal disruption – and the Republican government avoids looking like cold hearted bastards for breaking up families.  The illegal immigrants are still “punished”  and yet we get to keep them here and turn them into citizens who will pay more taxes in the future.  Plus we get to save an estimated $10 billion on trying to round them up and deport them.  It’s a way of saving face for all involved.    
 
Right now, deporting millions of people is just not practical, nor will it benefit the US because of items 1 to 5 above.   We can try to deport millions – but it will be incredibly disruptive and would definitely impact GDP.   Let’s not cause a disruption to our own economy just for the sake of being mean or being “right”.   Let’s just think about what really benefits our economy now and in the long run.    
 
Creating a path to citizenship makes everybody’s life easier,  increases United States cash flow,  increases our security.  
  
The last reason, and maybe one of the most critical, is that disrupting our society by forcing immigrants out the door is in conflict with every religious and ethical principle Americans hold dear. 
 
No truly religious or spiritual person can condone forcing families from their homes, schools and jobs.  
 
If we continue on the path of deportation, we are going to create massive Stress.  Including emotional stress at the highest levels within the Republican Party.   Let’s avoid that and accomplish our goals with common sense and respect for human beings.  Let’s be true to our values as Americans.  
 
By Craig L Aberle 
 
*I don’t get to play Trump National or the Mar-a-Lago – but I’ll wager dollars-to-donuts that the faces of the landscapers on those golf courses are a lot like the faces of the landscapers in my neighborhood. 
**  Memo to the Republican party – rather than antagonizing fringe groups and driving the Hispanic community into the arms of the Democrats, a path to citizenship could build a relationship with this community.  If they are going to come back eventually as legal citizens, which party do you want them to remember favorably?  

 

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cortaro_Farms,_Pinal_County,_Arizona._Yaqui_Indian_cotton_picker._Some_are_employed_on_this_ranch_th_._._._-_NARA_-_522037.jpg