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It is estimated there are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Many hard-lined Republicans believe the solution to our immigration problem is to deport everyone in the US who is out of status or undocumented. Even Mitt Romney, when running for president, believed that the undocumented should "self deport", meaning voluntarily go back to their home countries.

The Republicans (or GOP) should face the realization that, from a logistical and common-sense standpoint, it is literally impossible to deport 11 million people. How do they expect that to happen? Are we going to go neighborhood by neighborhood across the U.S., gather up all these people into collection points or stations, put them on trains or planes and ship them out of the U.S.? We are talking about effectively deporting a population the size of New York City and Los Angeles combined!

And it is not as simple as rounding up people and putting them on trains or planes. Although undocumented, most of these people are entitled to due process under the law, and their day in court. They will have to be served with Notices to Appear, and have several hearings before an immigration judge, where they can contest their removability.  The immigration courts will be over-flowing. The sheer number of cases will be beyond the courts’ ability to handle such a massive amount of people. The courts’ calendars will be back logged for years.  The cost of this mass removal would be billions and billions of dollars, and we would have to build hundreds of new detention centers and court rooms, and hire thousands of new judges and staff.

Many of these people are deeply-rooted in America, having lived here for years, and have U.S. born children. Does the GOP intend to deport the parents and put their U.S. born children in foster care? Even assuming there is another relative in the U.S., will that relative be willing to adopt or become a foster parent? Or does the GOP expect the U.S. born children to leave the country of their birth to accompany their parent?

I am well aware of some of the arguments in favor of mass deportation: that we should not "reward" people who break the laws, or we should not allow them to "jump in front of the line." But legislation can be drafted that can address these concerns. Include a fine or penalty, if a person had gone out of status, just as was done with Section 245(i), where those who were out of status paid a $1,000 penalty.

While the undocumented should not be put in the front of the line, they should at least be given a pathway to eventual legalization. Most are hard-working, pay their taxes, and want to contribute to society.

The GOP should not view the undocumented as though all are a bunch of terrorists or criminals, conspiring to bring about the downfall or overthrow of America. Most love America and want to be here and contribute. Where's the crime in that?

As for "taking jobs away from Americans", the immigration system already has a process by which jobs are first offered to Americans, who get priority for the position, if they are interested and qualified. If Americans get first choice and priority for jobs, the undocumented are not "taking away" any jobs, but are merely filling ones that no American wanted or was qualified for.

Now that the GOP has the majority in the House and Senate, they are finally in a position to propose (instead of opposed) comprehensive immigration reform. They blocked the Democrats’ efforts to pass legislation when the Democrats controlled the Senate. Now that the GOP is in power, let's see a common-sense solution from the Republicans that does not involve an unrealistic mass deportation of millions of people to parts unknown.


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