The one issue that has catapulted Donald Trump to the top of the Republican primary leader board is illegal immigration. Despite releasing a detailed plan on immigration with a hefty price tag attached to it, Trump still hasn’t explained how he plans on covering the costs.
After Trump released his immigration plan last weekend, it was the first physical plan that backed up his promise of strict, comprehensive reform. Packed with detail to secure the border and deport illegal immigrants, there was no information on how the plan would be financially responsible. Trump was pressed on this issue during the August 23 edition of “This Week” on ABC.
Host George Stephanopoulos welcomed Trump to the show and cited a study released earlier this year by the American Action Forum. The results of the study showed that to deport all 11.2 million illegal immigrants, as Trump has proposed, it would cost the government as much as $600 billion, and shrink real GDP by $1.6 trillion. Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he was willing to cover that cost, and if so, where he would get the money to do so.
“First of all, they’re wrong,” Trump said, before deflecting the topic to Jeb Bush, who he called “a low energy person.” “We need a wall. We have to get a wall. We need great security,” the former host of “The Apprentice” said.
Stephanopoulos stopped Trump in his tracks, and once again asked how he was planning on funding his immigration plan. Once again, Trump refused to answer the question, instead alleging that it costs the U.S. government $130 billion a year to provide for illegal immigrants. Trump then said he didn’t know how many illegal immigrants there really were in the country, saying the number could be as high as 30 million. Stephanopoulos continued to press Trump on the actual cost of the plan, asking how he would “round them all up, how are you gonna get the money?”
“It’s called management,” he said. before saying he would expedite the “good” illegals so they can get back into the country faster. “You keep declaring you are going to do it, but you don’t say how,” Stephanopoulos said. The conversation continued for another two minutes, and despite Stephanopoulos’ best efforts, Trump gave no answer how on he was planning to pay for his plan.
Estimates range from nearly $200 billion, to as much as $600 billion to cover the costs of Trump’s immigration plan. While the Republican front runner refuses to give further detail on how he would cover the costs of the plan, his supporters stand by him and he is still the current leader for the party’s nomination.