Thursday, September 1, 2016
Immigration Enforcement Now, Immigration Enforcement Forever: Donald Trump Calls for a Deportation Nation
Yesterday was a big day for Donald Trump and immigration in campaign 2016. There has been talk of Trump softening on immigration. At the end of the day, he reasserted a pretty hard line.
First, Trump visited Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City. They had a private discussion and both gave public remarks. Both talked firmly yet diplomatically in the public remarks, with Donald Trump seeming somewhat subdued to me and, some might say, statesman-like.
That evening, in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump gave an impassioned immigration policy speech (for the text, click here), which has attracted considerable national attention. See here, here, here. (For fact-checking by Michelle Lee of the Washington Post, click here; NPR also offered its own fact check.). In his remarks, Trump at various times targeted the most unpopular immigrants -- "criminal aliens", immigrant public benefit recipients, and terrorists.
Rudy Guiliani kicked off the evening, among other things, attacking the U.S. government's admission of refugees from Syria. A strong force for immigration enforcement (and ardent opponent of comprehensive immigration reform), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke next. Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence (R-Ind) generously introduced Donald Trump.
Stating that his focus was on "illegal" immigration, Trump offered his immigration policy prescriptions, while liberally criticizing President Obama's "open borders" policies, which he said that Hillary Clinton will expand upon.
Trump emphasized the need to ensure that noncitizens admitted into the country adhere to American values and "love us." He mentioned the need to admit into the country noncitizens most likely to assimilate. He frequently attacked "sanctuary cities." Trump emphasized the need for the immigration laws to serve the interests of US citizens, not those in foreign countries. As has been customary in his musings on immigration during the campaign, Trump mentioned some horrible crimes allegedly committed by immigrants on "good Americans."
Here is the Trump immigration 10-point "plan":
1. Build a wall. Mexico will pay for the wall. The United States should also use technology to secure the border.
2. End catch and release. Immigrants arrested and subject to removal will be detained until removal.
3. "Zero tolerance" for "criminal aliens." He will deport "criminal aliens" beginning his first day in office. "They're gone." Trump specifically mentioned restoring Secure Communities, which was dismantled in November 2014, and reviving 287G agreements, which allow the federal government to enter agreements with state and local governments to assist in immigration enforcement. He would triple the size of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and create a deportation task force to come up with recommendations on how to remove "criminal aliens." (Secure Communities had been heavily criticized for resulting in the removal of many small-time, minor criminal offenders, such as those with minor traffic violations. It was replaced with the Priority Enforcement Program, which focuses removal efforts on noncitizens convicted of serious crimes..
4. Pass legislation to prohibit "sanctuary cities."
5. End the Obama administration's deferred action programs and enforce the immigration laws. In a Trump administration, all immigration laws will be enforced.
6. No refugees will be admitted into the country unless they can be properly vetted. Trump supports "extreme vetting" and ending the admission of refugees from Syria and Libya. He also calls for "ideological certification" to ensure that those who are admitted share "our values and love our people." The ideological tests would include consideration of the noncitizen's views on women and sexual orientation.
7. Ensuring that other countries take their people back when they are ordered deported.
8. Complete biometric entry/exit visa tracking system. Trump emphasized that visa overstays must be a priority and will be a priority of a Trump administration. Visa expiration dates will be enforced.
9. Expanding expand the use of E-Verify to halt work by undocumented immigrants. He also advocates stopping public benefit receipt by immigrants and enforcement of the "public charge" removal ground.
10. Reform legal immigration to protect our workers The nation needs a new immigration commission to establish immigration levels, select immigrants who fit in and can be self sufficient, and serve our needs. We need an immigration system that makes "America first." Trump says that we should choose Americans based on merit.
All in all, Trump pulled together many of the statements that he has made on immigration from past speeches. He seemed to avoid targeting Muslims and immigrants from Mexico in his remarks, although his policies would have devastating consequences for those groups.