Obama: Trump's Immigration Plan Would Cost 'Hundreds of Billions'

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos spoke with President Obama about the plan.

ByABC News
November 12, 2015, 5:24 PM

— -- Donald Trump’s proposal to use a “deportation force” to deport millions of undocumented immigrants is unrealistic, President Obama said in an exclusive interview today with ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“The notion that we’re gonna deport 11, 12 million people from this country -- first of all, I have no idea where Mr. Trump thinks the money’s gonna come from. It would cost us hundreds of billions of dollars to execute that,” the president told Stephanopoulos in an interview at the White House.

“Imagine the images on the screen flashed around the world as we were dragging parents away from their children, and putting them in what, detention centers, and then systematically sending them out,” the president said. “Nobody thinks that that is realistic. But more importantly, that’s not who we are as Americans.”

Asked why he thinks some Americans are attracted to Trump’s mass deportation plan, the president said “there has always been a strain of anti-immigrant sentiment in America -- ironically from folks who themselves two generations back or even one generation back were immigrants themselves.”

“It’s the job of leaders not to play into that sentiment,” he added. “We don’t want, I think, a president or any person in a position of leadership to play on those kinds of fears.”

On Wednesday, Trump doubled down on his controversial proposal to remove an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S by using a “deportation force.”

“You're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely," Trump said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe."

Watch ABC News’ "World News Tonight," "Good Morning America" and "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" for more of President Obama’s interview.