Donald Trump’s immigration policy is morally reprehensible, legally indefensible and un-American. Yet the flagging front-runner continues to flog President Eisenhower’s atrociously named “Operation Wetback” as a model for how he would go about deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower — good president, great president, people liked him. I like Ike, right? The expression. I like Ike. — moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, 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. Dwight Eisenhower. You don’t get nicer, you don’t get friendlier. They moved a million and a half people out. We have no choice. We have no choice.

Then, on “Morning Joe” on Wednesday, Mika Brzezinski asked Trump if he would use “a massive deportation force” to achieve his goal of recreating Eisenhower’s 1954 strategy. “You’re going to have a deportation force,” Trump agreed, “and you’re going to do it humanely.” There was nothing humane about the Eisenhower policy.

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As The Post’s Yanan Wang reminded, the rounded-up deportees were dumped into obscure parts of Mexico desert from overcrowded buses and trucks. “After one such round-up and transfer in July [of 1955],” Wang reports, “88 people died from heat stroke.” Boats carrying the deported were so crammed with people they were reminiscent of an “eighteenth century slave ship.”

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Trump’s immigration policy is morally reprehensible because it would tear apart families that have put down roots in fertile American soil. Sure, lax immigration policy allowed that to happen. The inability of Washington to reach consensus on comprehensive immigration reform leaves the problem unresolved. But using a “massive deportation force” to eject millions of people from the only nation they know as home would be beyond shameful. The president who proposed such a thing and the Congress that authorized it would have to answer to God for their actions.

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Trump’s immigration policy is unconstitutional. I’m specifically talking about his continued insistence on ending birthright citizenship. Writing for “The Originalism Blog,” University of San Diego law professor Michael Ramsey is clear on the 14th Amendment and how it has been and should be interpreted.

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The first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment conveys U.S. citizenship on all persons “born … in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Obviously we are talking here about persons “born … in the United States.” Thus the children of illegal aliens are not U.S. citizens only if they are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

The children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States are Americans. Period. A candidate for president who would propose stripping them of their citizenship and deporting them should not be entrusted with the Oval Office. Nor should the party that would nominate such a person.

At Tuesday’s Republican debate in Milwaukee, former Florida governor Jeb Bush got it exactly right when he pushed back against the deportation lunacy espoused by Trump. “It’s not embracing American values. And it would tear communities apart,” Bush said to applause. “And it would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is.”

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Bush then added this. “And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal — they’re doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this. That’s the problem with this. We have to win the presidency.” As Bush knows and as the GOP autopsy of the 2012 presidential loss pointed out, the party needs major Latino support if it is to take the White House from Democrats in 2016. An analysis from Latino Decisions released in July reports the next Republican nominee would have to secure at least 42 percent of the Latino vote to win the White House.

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Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, espoused “self-deportation” as a solution to the nation’s illegal immigration problem. He got 27 percent of the Latino vote. For a party now openly embracing government-enforced deportation and taking away birthright citizenship, reaching that 42 percent threshold is damned near impossible at this point — if at all.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

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