Immigration expert explains why Trump’s migrant policy won’t work
US President Donald Trump stepped up his attack on four Democratic lawmakers, saying if they are not happy in the United States, "they can leave". (AFP / Nicholas Kamm)

After President Trump let the audience at his rally in Greenville, North Carolina, shout "send her back!" after he falsely accused Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of anti-Semitism, Republicans grew nervous about a backlash -- that this time, Trump had gone too far.

But the incident merely caps years of severe and inhumane rhetoric and policy targeting migrants. Raw Story spoke with Stephen Yale-Loehr, Professor of Immigration Law Practice at Cornell Law School, about why Trump and the GOP are enacting inhumane policies that won't even work to accomplish their goals.

Raw Story: In modern history, has anyone actually managed to shut down migration successfully or is Trump enacting all these vicious policies for nothing really? It seems like people who want to migrate really can't be stopped?

Stephen Yale-Loehr: No one has managed to stop all immigration to the United States. The borders are too long to stop all immigration. Even when Germany had the Berlin Wall, people found ways to escape from East to West Berlin.

Raw Story: What do you think about ICE? 

Stephen Yale-Loehr: All countries need some kind of immigration enforcement agency. The question is how to manage immigration enforcement humanely and effectively. Moreover, Congress will never appropriate enough money to round up and deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be in the United States. We should focus our limited priorities on removing terrorists, not people who simply overstayed their visas.

Raw Story: There's this idea that the Democrats are messing up by letting Trump paint them as wanting totally open borders. First of all, is that true that this is what Democrats want?

No. I don't know of any Democrats calling for open borders. President Trump is mischaracterizing their statements.

Raw Story: What would totally open borders actually look like?

We will never have totally open borders.