Typically when a Republican politician who opposes immigration reform is asked what he or she would do with the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., they usually give a non-answer or avoid the question altogether. But Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a former official with the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, is at least giving an honest answer, telling conservative radio host John Fredericks yesterday that Trump wants to deport the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants living here.
“You guys are going to be committed to basically rounding anyone who is here illegally, rounding them up, and sending them back?” Fredericks asked.
“Yes, that’s right,” Lewandowski replied, before going on to claim that there may be upwards of 30 million undocumented immigrants in the country, a bogus figure that has previously been cited by Trump.
Lewandowski, sounding just like Trump, said that undocumented immigrants are “killing American citizens” and that a President Trump would build an “impenetrable” border wall: “It doesn’t matter how much water you have in your boat if you don’t stop the water from coming in you are eventually going to sink, so the first thing to do is to plug the hole, and that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to build a wall that stops that from continuing.”
He then channeled Mitt Romney by talking about the need for “self-deportation” by making their lives difficult in the U.S. “We’re going to deport everybody and then you have the opportunity to apply to an expedited process,” he said.
Amazingly, as we noted earlier today, even with his campaign making statements like this, Trump is still not seen as extreme enough in his anti-immigrant politics by Numbers USA, the most influential anti-immigrant lobbying group. This is because Trump, although he wants to deport all of the undocumented immigrants in the country, has vaguely hinted at offering an “expedited” process for the “good” ones to apply to return. And remember, back in 2012 Trump was calling Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” stance “crazy.”
“He had a crazy policy of self-deportation, which was maniacal,” Trump told Newsmax. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote.” Trump added that the GOP should develop better policies “with respect to people wanting to be wonderful, productive citizens of this country.”