Much will require congressional approval, but by any full accounting, the fiscal and economic costs of Trump’s plan would be huge.
Recently the Trump administration has backed off earlier pledges to deport anyone in the country illegally — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Thursday “there will be no mass deportations” after he met with Mexican officials.
Still, the Trump administration also this week directed government agencies to, among other things, begin rounding up and deporting anyone in the country illegally, whether or not they have committed serious crimes.
The new Trump initiative includes hiring thousands of new immigration agents, building new detention centers and constructing a southern border wall that was a centerpiece of Trump’s election campaign.
If the U.S. would seek to remove the entire population of the estimated 11 million undocumented workers now in the U.S., it would cost upwards of half trillion dollars, according to one estimate. It could also wipe out a chunk of the American economy roughly the size of the annual gross domestic product of Texas.