Donald Trump’s administration is asking Immigration agents to focus on removing anyone charged with or convicted of any criminal offense, even minor ones, as well as anyone ordered to be deported, regardless of whether they have a criminal record, according to New York Times.
This can have a devastating effect to families, including undocumented parents with U.S citizen children.
Trump claimed responsibility for the hundreds of arrests that are speeding deportation, tweeting on Feb 12: “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”
CNN News stated that immigration activists are fighting for justice, as they question if those who are innocent are at risk for deportation.
California Republican, Lou Correa sent a letter to immigration officials, clearing up the unanswered questions to the latest immigration enforcement status. “These activities have caused fear and uncertainty for many of constituents,” Correa wrote, and listed several questions for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), “What are the agency’s priorities for removal?” and “How far in advance were these enforcement activities planned?”
Under Obama’s presidency, ICE focused only on serious crimes and a program, known as “expedited removal,” was used only when an immigrant was arrested within 100 miles of the border and had been in the country no more than 14 days. Now under Trump’s administration, ICE will be able to detain those who have been in the country for up to two years, no matter where they are caught, reported by New York Times.
“The message is, the immigration law is back in business,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington D.C, which reinforces immigration. “That violating immigration law is no longer a secondary offense.”
Only those who are not at risk for deportation are DREAMERS, referring to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, allowing two-year residency and a work permit to young undocumented immigrants, an act by the Obama administration.
However, many DREAMERS are being affected by ICE deportation speeding process. For example, Daniela Vargas, was detained by ICE agents. According to USA Today News she told agents that she had a pending DACA case that allows temporary residence with approved employment status. However, agents reportedly stated it was a “visa overstay” and she’ll be detained. “Now, I’m not so sure my dream will continue to develop,” she said.
“A path for citizenship is necessary for DACA recipients but also for the other 11 million undocumented people with dreams.”
The New York Times stated that these undocumented immigrants might not be the people President Donald Trump claims to name, such as rapists, drug dealers, killers. In several studies, over many years, have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.