Trump’s New Immigration Policies


Trump’s Immigration Policy

Bita Zadeh, Photojournalist


On Sunday, December 3rd President Trump gave federal agents the ability to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. The Obama administration deported around 2.7 million people during his presidency. He focused mainly on undocumented immigrants who were convicted of very serious crimes, while mostly ignoring undocumented immigrants already living peacefully in the U.S. But, Trump has taken this all away. Within five days of taking office, Trump signed an executive order telling government agencies to remove anyone who has committed a “chargeable criminal offense,” including entering the U.S. illegally. The U.S. will “no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens”. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents say “If you’re in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable.”


ICE agents still target known criminals when they raid workplaces and homes but are now also arresting any undocumented immigrants they encounter in those raids. During a series of July raids, in which ICE arrested 650 people, most weren’t even initial targets of the raid, but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. ICE is also going after the 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who have been granted a stay of deportation for medical or family reasons provided they show up for check-ins with ICE agents. Some of them are now being arrested at their check-ins. In one horrible case, a mother of two children (both born in the U.S.) who has lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years, was detained at her annual check-in one night and deported to Mexico the following morning.


Right now, the government only has the resources to deport about 400,000 people per year, but there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S at the moment. It is guessed that it would take over 20 years for ICE to remove every single undocumented immigrant and would cost about 300 billion dollars. Those costs include legal processing, housing, and transportation. For example, it would cost an average of $6,000 to hold one illegal immigrant in a federal detention center for 30 days. “You have to pay to monitor them around the clock, you have to pay to feed them every single day, you have to tend to their other needs,” says David Bier, an immigration policy analyst with the Cato Institute. “The only thing that comes close is the costs of actually hiring the agents to do the arrests.”

Many people have asked if Trump’s strategy is working, but that depends on the goal. The amount of illegal immigration to the U.S. has slowed, “because of the fear that this administration is serious about deporting the immigrants who are caught” says Rianna Patel (11).