Correcting the Media: Trump Didn’t Say Mass Deportations, You Did

Immediately after GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump released his plan, Immigration Reform that Makes America Great Again, on Sunday, August 16, the media – along with the illegal alien special interests groups – launched a misinformation campaign labeling it as “mass deportation.”

Dara Lind of Vox appears to be the first out of the gate just hours later when she editorialized, “it’s important to stress that Trump has not explicitly called for deporting the children of unauthorized immigrants, even if those children are US citizens, en masse. But that’s the logical conclusion of his plan.”

12998712375_dfb042dbed_oBy Monday, most of the media were parroting the prepared statements made by special interests railing against the plan. “Trump has reignited the GOP’s longstanding obsession with mass deportation,” said Pablo Manriquez, Democratic National Committee director of Hispanic media, in a statement appearing in the Boston Herald.

Throughout the following week, “Trump” and “mass deportation” were interchangeably acceptable headlines for all the major syndicated news outlets, including a widely distributed wire story by the Associated Press, “Donald Trump calls for mass deportations faces realities of nation’s messy immigration system,” and Bloomberg with, “Trump deflects questions about high cost of mass deportation plan.”

Even FOX News took the bait. In a highly charged question to the candidate, Bill O’Reilly asked, “Do you envision federal police kicking in the door in barrios around the country, dragging families out?”

But aside from the spin – even that heard in the so-called No Spin Zone – neither the phrase “mass deportation” nor the word “deportation” appear anywhere the four-page, 1,899-word document. “Deport” is used once to refer to the recommendation that, “all illegal aliens in gangs should be apprehended and deported.” The plan does call for the “mandatory return” of criminal aliens and further suggests that all illegal aliens caught crossing the border be “sent home.”

Incidentally, under current law, all those categories of individuals are supposed to be removed.

In regard to automatic birthright citizenship, yes the Trump plan does support the end of that.  No, it does not suggest that if the practice were ended that it would apply retroactively and result in massive deportations.

The remainder of Trump’s plan calls for securing the border, enforcing the law, drying up the incentives that attract illegal aliens and infuses the principle that “real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first,” and that “any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”

For most Americans, there is nothing neither radical, nor even much new about Trump’s plan because it primarily calls for enforcing laws already on the books.

Despite that, don’t expect the media to stop hyperventilating over Trump’s plan. For six and a half years, they have championed the Obama administration’s systematic whittling away of immigration enforcement and they don’t want to see it rebuilt.  The canard of “mass deportation” will continue to be used in order to inflict “mass destruction” on any candidate who dares to defy the non-enforcement status quo.


This blog post was written by Bob Dane and Anna Giaritelli.

avatar About Bob Dane

Bob has been with FAIR since 2006 serving as the organization's Press Secretary and Communications Director. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar David Helveticka says:

    There is some miscommunication going on here based on the fact that Liberals and JebBush/contry club type “open border” Republicans believe that ILLEGAL immigrants that make it into the USA have the SAME constitutional rights as citizens. In other words, if you are IN the US, the constitution protects you the same as any citizen…

    Unfortunately, Roberts and Kennedy in the Supreme Court are likely to agree with this difference of opinion on “constitutional rights”….

  2. avatar David Smith says:

    Two things illegals keep carping on: 1) There are too many of us and it would be too expensive to deport us all and 2) It would be too difficult to change the loophole laws so you might as well forget it. They are wrong on both counts.

    1) American taxpayers never paid to import so should not pay to export. Mandatory everify means No job, No money, No reason to stay. Laws to prohibit renting to illegals (undocoumented) means no place to live.

    2) The 14th amendment used for “anchor babies” doesn’t need to be revoked, it only needs to be interperted which can be done in Congress in a simple vote.

    The best hope for the American people is not Congress but the 23 State lawsuit challenging Obama’s authority to issue an executive order which changes the law. The Executive branch has no authority to make law, only to enforce it, which has been sadly lacking. A win by the States would cancel Obama and his decree which itself was just a cheap election year stunt for votes.

  3. avatar Reality99r says:

    Trump is a master negotiator.
    There is no reason for him to lay out specifics at this time.
    The compromise will probably be that illegal aliens with U.S. born children will probably be allowed to stay but will never be able to obtain citizenship form themselves.

  4. avatar Raul Allegre says:

    The leftist argument of, “What are you going to do, deport 20 million people?”, is a complete straw man argument the left projects on Republicans but none of whom have ever advocated for it. Immigration reform supporters have more basic proposals to focus on first, and if they are allowed to implement other improvements then the rounding up and deporting issue might go away for the most part. I we build a wall, end birthright citizenship, cut off welfare to illegals, toughen the employer verification system, etc… then we reduce the incentives for illegals to come here and live here and many will just leave. I do believe that all visa overstayers need to be deported because they signed agreements to leave the country after a certain date and chose not to. That behavior should not be rewarded in any way and those people do need to be rounded up and deported.

  5. avatar neerg says:

    mass deportations of illegal aliens is like general cleaning of a home illegally invaded. the free for all, pro illegal aliens successfully ingrained in the minds of the public mass deportation is impossible, is the biggest lies of all time. it is way too possible to execute mass deportations. the long term effect is cheaper, than spending over 35 billion of taxpayers hard earned cash a year on illegal aliens. if america have gone to the moon, then mass deportation is a piece of cake. illegal aliens of this generation are not nomads, they all have their own homelands to go back. so, it’s not like throwing them back to nowhere. nations of the free world have done sweeping deportations, so why is it the public on a guilty trip on mass deportation, which is good for the country.

  6. avatar Mariana says:

    In its 1898 ruling in ‘U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark’, the SCOTUS affirmed that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of a child, which means, in simple words, that the children of illegal aliens are not eligible for automatic citizenship. The phrase in the 14th Ammendment “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” ‘excludes from automatic citizenship those whose allegiance to the U.S. is not complete’. The allegiance/loyalty of an illegal alien lies with his/her native country, and that country has a claim of allegiance on the child, as well.
    Birthrigh citizenship for the children of illegal aliens has been the ultimate tool used by politicians to secure the votes of illegals, but is has no legal basis and should and must be ended.

    • avatar moben says:

      YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT BECAUSE THE CASE OF THE U.S V WONG KIM Ark’. ruled in the favor of the legal parents rightfully so. The parents of the children in this case were born to legal parents not illegal parents like the illegals being brought into this country and called anchor babes they too are illegal aliens they are products of parents who are not bound by the subject to jurisdiction thereof clause they are illegals. birthright citizenship does not apply here

  7. avatar Leland says:

    We need both an end to birthright citizenship and a secure border. The media needs to catch a clue. Large areas of our southwest that are far from the border are in the control of Mexican drug gangs. There are even signs in some federal land areas warning visitors of cartel activity. They need to be stopped before they make it into this country because once here they are setting up shop. They have no interest in work permits, amnesty or any other such things. They are here for criminal activity and it’s happening all over this nation.

    As for birthright citizenship, the media is also totally one sided in that debate. Outside of some conservative media blogs and news outlets, almost all the media refuses to even report that many nations that used to have birthright citizenship have abolished it. Ireland stopped it with a 79% majority in a 2004 public referendum. Britain stopped it in 1983.

    So while we have this big debate about it now, why does the majority of the media refuse to report that it’s happened even in “enlightened” Europe. Because it puts the lie to the contention that somehow advocating the end of birthright citizenship is some radical far right extremism peculiar to this country. When actually it’s just common sense.

    This is no longer the 19th century. The inn is full. One of the things that many who romanticize immigration ignore is that many of those who came to Ellis Island were turned around to go home because it was felt they would become “public charges”. Now we have people who insist it’s a good thing we are allowing families to stay who will need lots of public assistance for many years.

    • avatar Julia says:

      The media has been blackmailed by the illegal alien advocacy groups long ago. They have threaten to pull advertisements and sales. What the mass media should have done was published these bottom line threats with a notice that they have no intention of bowing down to their threats. The American people would have stood by them.

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