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Donald Trump Thinks ‘Operation Wetback’ was a Successful Example of Mass Deportation

If you watched the last Republican debate, you know that is was more yelling and talking over each other, but did you catch Donald Trump’s reference to Operation Wetback? Well, it was there.

This was Donald Trump as he praised Operation Wetback, and yes, that is the real name.

Credit: FOX Business Network / NBC

“Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower […] moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country,” Trump said during the debate. “Moved them just beyond the border; they came back. Moved them again beyond the border; they came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them way south; they never came back.”

So, what the hell was the GOP candidate talking about? “Operation Wetback” was implemented in the mid 1950s by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

#operationwetback

A photo posted by TheHolland (@the_holland) on

Operation Wetback was proven to be inhumane and deadly as many immigrants died during the deportations.

Credit: @pinchicagoo / Twitter

People drowned after jumping from ships to avoid being sent back to Mexico. Others were sent to very remote areas with no food, water, or shelter and left to fend for themselves.

Are you serious, Trump?

Credit: Jane the Virgin / CW / janethevirgin-gifs / Tumblr

“The Eisenhower mass deportation policy was tragic,” Republican Alfonso Aguilar, the Director of American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership told NPR. “Human rights were violated, people were removed to remote locations without food and water, there were many deaths, sometimes U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin were removed. It was a travesty — it was terrible. To say it’s a success story, it’s ridiculous.”

In some cases, Border patrol agents began rounding up anyone with Latino heritage, leading to the deportation of many LEGAL U.S. citizens.  The deportations often went unchecked.

They tried to get rid of you a long time ago ???✈ #muhammedhasni? #thunderdan⚡@dbgraup @gabe_graupman35

A photo posted by Zach Helwig (@zachhelwig) on

During World War II, the U.S. government was facing a labor shortage, so they set up the Bracero Program to bring Mexicans over the border to work for very low wages.

Families were ripped apart and the damage to the Latino psyche in the U.S. was palpable and lingering.

Credit: @inglamwetrust / Twitter

READ: Donald Trump Kissed a Latina During an Event and the Things Got Creepy

Trump’s reference to Operation Wetback is drawing strong reaction from his usual conservative backers.

And they are pointing out the travesty that was Operation Wetback.

Even conservative commentator and FOX News anchor Bill O’Reilly told Trump how brutal and inhumane the deportations were.

Credit: The O’Reilly Factor / FOX News / Wake Up Wolrd / YouTube

O’Reilly: The stuff they did was really brutal. It could never happen today.

Trump: OK. Well. I’ve heard it both ways. I’ve heard good reports; I’ve heard bad reports. We would do it in a very humane way.

Though Trump says he would get it “very humanely done,” he is still not able to clarify what that humane way would be.

Credit: @ENDBORDERS / Twitter

But he promises that it can be accomplished with great management. #hecantbeseriouscanhe

READ: Donald Trump Reveals His Plan for Immigration Reform: Everyone GTFO

Watch Trump and O’Reilly’s full interaction on Operation Wetback here:

Credit: The O’Reilly Factor / FOX News / Wake Up Wolrd / YouTube

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