Immigration experts fear the Trump administration’s ramped up immigration crackdown could ultimately lead to a humanitarian crisis and cripple the U.S. economy.
The New York Daily News reports the sweeping levels of enforcement outlined by the administration “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” a plan that could easily soar into the billions of dollars to execute.
The newly installed Republican president has already executed several executive actions on immigration, and recently released details about the remainder of his plan calls for the hiring of thousands of additional federal agents, enlisting local law enforcement to assist in apprehension, and beefing up the number of immigration judges.
“It’s a really significant amount of money and it’s difficult to see this coming together,” Philip Wolgin, the managing director for immigration policy with the progressive Center for American Progress, said of Trump’s overall plan to deport as many as 11 million. “But they’ve made a ton of promises and are following through on a lot of them.”
Many experts agree the scope of Trump’s grand scheme is unlike anything seen in the U.S. since the days of the Eisenhower administration’s so-called “Operation Wetback” crackdown when countless of Mexican and Hispanic immigrants were targeted for expulsion.
Going even beyond the range of what he promised on the campaign trial, Trump’s federal dragnet is now expected to target more than just the worst offenders. Federal officials are now said to also be committed to rounding up low-level offenders and even longtime residents with ties to communities.
“A lot of this is designed to put up numbers — but in doing so, you diminish the impact on public safety,” John Sandweg, who served as the acting director of ICE and acting general counsel of DHS under the Obama administration, told the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Wolgin lamented he is most concerned with an element of the plan that appears to expand the time frame of when people can be deported without seeing a judge from 14 days after arrival to two years.
“The issue is how they do it,” he said. “It means skipping the immigration courts and skipping due process and being able to get a lawyer. I would imagine we will see legal challenges to theses memos, but in general once you’re deported your ability to challenge is greatly diminished.”
Some estimates have put the total cost of Trump’s bold endeavor as high as $300 billion and Moody’s Analytics projects that the administration’s policies could shrink the labor force by about five percent — driving up not only wages, but also the cost of goods, creating inflation and higher interest rates.
Meanwhile, Trump is also rumored to be on the verge of releasing a new executive order temporarily halting travel here in the U.S. from citizens of seven mostly Muslim nations he maintains pose an increased level of danger to the country.
The administration’s first attempt at enacting such a policy was roundly panned across the nation and ultimately struck down by a federal court judge as unconstitutional.
Travelers from Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Libya were all impacted by the initial ban and prohibited from entering the U.S., unleashing a period of intense chaos and uncertainty at many of the nation’s largest airports after the hastily drafted and poorly implemented order caused major confusion among border and customs officials about what it was they were expected to do in varying situations.
All the drama created a major crack in Trump’s armor of being a master dealmaker and businessman, characteristics his supporters have argued figure to more than hold up for his inexperience in Washington and in the area of governance.
[Featured Image by Mike Theiler/Getty Images]