Posted on November 17, 2005

Chertoff: Not ‘Practical’ to Deport Illegal Aliens, Nov. 15

In defending President Bush’s so-called “guest worker” program for illegal aliens — which critics have dubbed an amnesty program — Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says it’s just not practical to deport the millions of foreigners in the country illegally.

“The cost of identifying all of those people and sending them back would be stupendous. It would be billions and billions of dollars,” Chertoff told Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel program “Hannity & Colmes” last night.


When Hannity suggested quadrupling the number of Border Patrol agents to help deal with the flood of illegals coming across the southern border, Chertoff pointed to training constraints.

“Right now, our capacity for training really is fully stretched,” the official said. “Because it is obviously not an easy job, to train a Border Patrol agent. It’s very dangerous work on the border.”

Chertoff emphasized that since 9-11, the number of Border Patrol personnel has increased by 3,000.

The homeland security chief said he believes there will be a point in the future — using new technology and infrastructure, and more agents — when the border will be impenetrable.

“I think we have a day coming,” he told Hannity. “I can’t give you dates. It is not going to happen overnight.”