If We Deported Every Undocumented Immigrant, Our Economy Would Collapse

Immigration is at the forefront of the debate this election season. Donald Trump’s comments that all immigrants are rapists and murderers really hit a nerve with the voters, and Ann Coulter’s book Adios, America! is a New York Times bestseller. Trump recently stated that his immigration policy would be mass deportation of every illegal immigrant in the country, even those born here to undocumented parents.

Of course that rhetoric hit a positive nerve with the GOP fan base.

Not surprisingly, the billionaire-real estate mogul hasn’t taken into consideration the cost of taking on such a monumental task. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of Census data, there are currently 22 million undocumented workers living within the United States, 11 to 12 million of which are not authorized.

If Trump were to succeed in his feat of deporting 22 million immigrants, the United States would lose a significant chunk of its economy, roughly the size of Texas’ gross domestic product. The gross domestic product for Texas for fiscal year 2014 was estimated at $1.5 trillion.

More specifically, the CBO estimates that the cost of deportation would be somewhere in between $735 billion and $975 billion, and even those are conservative estimates.

And if we did succeed in a mass deportation, the U.S. workforce would decrease by 6.4 percent, which would shrink the overall economy by over six percent, which would rob the country of $1.6 trillion in money that would have been put back into the economy.

In total, the U.S. economy would lose between $2.3 and $2.6 trillion dollars. The sectors of agriculture, construction, retail and hospitality would be the most affected.

So once again, “fiscally conservative” Republicans are anything but. They trade common sense smart spending with polarizing rhetoric to squeeze out as many votes as possible. The sad part is America’s seething xenophobia is winning over true fiscal responsibility, let alone its morale.

I know America want’s to elect someone who isn’t a Washington insider. I know the Republicans want a businessman running the show. But when the businessman doesn’t know how to conduct business and save the country money, there’s a real issue. I will say, at least this plan was more thought out than Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan.

Image via Gage Skidmore