The U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Tuesday praised a 1950s deportation program implemented by then President Dwight Eisenhower, known as “Operation Wetback,” and used it to defend his promise to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
The issue was brought up by Ohio Governor John Kasich during Tuesday night's debate among the Republican presidential candidates.
"Come on folks," said Kasich. "We all know you can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. It's a silly argument. It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense!"
Trump responded saying, "Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower. Good president. Great president. People liked him. I liked him. I Like Ike, right? The expression, 'I like Ike.' Moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country.”
The multi-billionaire real estate mogul went on to explain that Eisenhower's administration deported the 1.5 million immigrants to Mexico on various occasions, until they were sent back deep into Mexican territory.
Mother Jones news outlet reports that the program was not as successful as Trump claimed it to be: “Some researchers consider the 1.5 million-deported figure to be highly exaggerated,” its article reports.
The program, according to Mother Jones, was initiated by then-Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr., who gave security forces authorization to shoot "wetbacks" attempting to cross back into the United States.
Trump also took the opportunity to lash out at undocumented immigrants, saying they are responsible for drug abuse in the U.S. cities where they reside.
He also insisted on his plan to build a border wall and that all immigrants without legal documents to be in the country would be expeditiously deported.
Kasich told him his mass deportation promise was childish and ridiculous.
Rolling Stones said that Trump's immigration plans are not funny, but instead they are borderline with fascism.
“Get woke, America: Donald Trump is dangerous,” they said.
Donald Trump has dropped to second place in the Republican electoral polls behind Ben Carson, who leads the pack with 24 percent. Trump has 23 percent of the voter's preference, while Senator Marco Rubio is in third with 12 percent. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz share the attic with 8 percent each.
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