Donald Trump's immigration policy is taking heat this week from critics who claim aspects of it might be illegal or could lead to "staggering economic and social havoc." The Washington Post editorial board calls out the GOP presidential frontrunner's plan to deport all illegal immigrants, a scheme it says would cripple the US economy and create a refugee crisis to rival that in Syria. The Post uses California, which accounts for 13% of the United States' GDP and has 2.6 million undocumented workers, as an example of what mass deportation would do. Up to 50% of the state's farm and orchard workers are undocumented, as are another 14% in construction. There are thousands more undocumented workers in California than unemployed people, which means mass deportation would cause a labor shortage even if Americans wanted to fill those jobs.
On the other hand, Politico finds fault with Trump's plan to "impound" remittances sent home by immigrants in order to force Mexico to get on board with building a border wall. On his campaign website, Trump claims this would net $22 billion, citing a Fox News story. But Politico reports the majority of that $22 billion likely comes from legal immigrants. Furthermore, experts aren't exactly sure how Trump would "impound" that money, which would require new laws that would likely face "equal protections" challenges: Why just Mexican nationals and not those from Europe? Besides, undocumented immigrants could send remittances by snail mail to avoid the new laws. Plus, the Post thinks "impounding" remittances would hurt the Mexican economy and actually make the problem of illegal immigration worse.