On Tuesday the Trump administration revealed its new guidelines for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants in the United States and at the border, allowing federal authorities to take a more aggressive stance on illegal immigration, prompting a swift response from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants Rights Project, had this to say:
These memos confirm that the Trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities, and even protections for vulnerable children, in pursuit of a hyper-aggressive mass deportation policy. However, President Trump does not have the last word here—the courts and the public will not allow this un-American dream to become reality.
The memos were signed by Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and released Tuesday.
The new rules call for the Department of Homeland Security to greatly expand the number of immigrants who are prioritized for removal to include any person who is in the country illegally who may have committed a crime but not been charged, who has “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits,” or whom an immigration officer deems a risk to public safety or national security.
Immigrant-rights advocates voiced concern about the memos, saying that the rules are written so broadly that they make anyone who is in the country illegally a target for deportation, and this could affect as many as 8 to 11 million people.
The ACLU has been fighting Trump’s immigration policies since he issued his executive order last month banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
This latest move aligns with that order, which also called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
Read more at the ACLU.