Operation Wetback deported 1 million illegals with only 750 agents


Jeb Bush says it will cost "hundreds of billions of dollars" to deport illegal aliens. President Eisenhower, however, deported a million alone in the space of a year, and with only 750 deportation agents, in an operation with a name we would never use today: Operation Wetback.

Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught... Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country. By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.

Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.

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Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.

The sea voyage was "a rough trip, and they did not like it," says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.

Wikipedia says over 1,000,000 were detained and deported. If only 750 agents were able to get rid of a million or more illegals (either by direct arrest or by self-deportation), by the same logic 7,500 agents should be able to get rid of 10 million illegals. 7,500 agents won't cost "hundreds of billions of dollars". I'd be surprised if the entire operation cost more than a billion dollars, counting costs of detention and transportation.

But Jeb says it will cost hundreds of billions. He just doesn't want to try. Neither do any of the politicians. But in reality it would be quite easy to do and cheap. I am distressed that in a race full of so-called conservatives only Donald Trump is calling for deportation of illegals, and the only one who emphasizes, truthfully, how easy it is to be done, especially if e-verify was mandatory and welfare benefits were cut off. I wish the other "real" conservatives would also stand up and do the same.

The only change I would make is the name of the operation. I do not like "Wetback". I do like "Operation of Reciprocated Love".

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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