The Corner

How Many U.S. Citizens Will Trump’s Deportation Force Round Up?

My latest column, out this morning, asks this question.

So let’s make an educated guess. Based on a 2011 paper by Northwestern University professor Jacqueline Stevens and a 2011 report from the University of California, Berkeley’s law school, let’s say that about 1 percent of total apprehensions are in error because the person apprehended is a U.S. citizen. (Remember, these estimates are based on today’s data.) One percent of 11 million implies over 100,000 U.S. citizens mistakenly apprehended, some of whom may end up deported. That’s a lot of people. It eclipses in number the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

Say instead the error rate is 0.1 percent; a rate likely much lower than it would be in reality, despite Trump’s promises of “really good management.” That’s still thousands of people. Thousands of U.S. citizens apprehended by a police state — men, women and children who are guaranteed the protections of the Constitution.

This aspect of Mr. Trump’s plan is worth thinking about.

You can read the full column here. As always, your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Michael R. Strain — Michael R. Strain is the director of economic-policy studies and the Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute.  

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