As ID announced in its October 19 issue, ICE has deported almost 400,000 people this year, almost half with no criminal violations at all, and the other half possibly including many people without any criminal records other than ones related to immigration. There can be no doubt that many of the people deported had US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses, children, parents or other close family members. Many were also, without any doubt, productive, hard-working tax-paying members of society.

Many of those deported may also have had to endure intolerable and inhuman conditions in immigration jails which, as many have pointed out, seem to be run more for the private profit of well connected contractors than for the security or protection of the American people. Aside from the shame of turning away from being a Nation of Immigrants to becoming Deportation Nation, what are the implications of America's sharp turn to the right on immigration, where one presidential candidate is booed for suggesting that the country should "have a heart" toward immigrants and another is cheered for suggesting that they should be electrocuted?

No matter how bad any situation might become, there is always a tendency to assume that the worst has already happened. History shows again and again that this assumption is often false. The Obama administration's deportation mania, evidently unaffected by any palliative Morton memos, may lead inevitably to the next step - closing our borders completely. The main ingredient for this poisonous concoction, anti-immigrant racism, is already in place.