US President Donald Trump is working on a new immigration policy under which the new admin has stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported, opening the door for deportations on a very large scale, Los Angeles Times reported.
According to calculations by the LA Times, up to 8 million people in the US illegally could be considered priorities for deportation. The estimate is based on interviews with experts who studied the order and two internal documents that signal immigration officials are taking an expansive view of Trump’s directive.
Far from targeting only “bad hombres,” as Trump has said repeatedly, his new order allows immigration agents to detain nearly anyone they come in contact with who has crossed the border illegally. People could be booked into custody for using food stamps or if their child receives free school lunches.
The Trump admin targets to deport a ‘much larger group than those swept up in the travel bans’ the report said.
“We are going back to enforcement chaos — they are going to give lip service to going after criminals, but they really are going to round up everybody they can get their hands on,” said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn. and an immigration lawyer for more than two decades.
An additional executive order under consideration would block entry to anyone the US believes may use benefit programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according two Trump administration officials who have seen the draft order.
In late January, Trump’s immigration policy experts gave a 20-page document to top Homeland Security officials that lays out how to ramp up immigration enforcement, according to two people familiar with the memo.
The instructions also propose allowing Border Patrol agents to provide translation assistance to local law enforcement, a practice that was stopped in 2012 over concerns that it was contributing to racial profiling.
In addition, Homeland Security officials have circulated an 11-page memo on how to enact Trump’s order. Among other steps, that document suggests expanding the use of a deportation process that bypasses immigration courts and allows officers to expel foreigners immediately upon capture.
By giving more authority to immigration officers, Trump has put his administration on track to boost deportations more than 75% in his first full year in office. That would meet the level set in 2012, at the end of Obama’s first term, when more than 400,000 people were deported. It dropped to some 235,000 last year after illegal immigration fell and agents were given narrowed deportation targets.
In addition, Trump plans to empower local police to work with immigration agents to identify people they believe live illegally in their cities and towns, particularly those seen as violent, the White House official said, comparing the arrest of a suspected gang leader on an immigration violation to the FBI charging a mafia leader with tax evasion.
“The great thing about immigration law is it is a preventative law enforcement tool,” the official said.