NPR reports that the Trump administration is now handing out fines of up to nearly $500,000 to illegal immigrants that fail to take the necessary steps to depart the United States after being ordered to do so. The move is the latest by the Trump administration in its recent effort to crack down on illegal immigration, and it comes not long after Trump’s announcement of immigration sweeps of migrants families that have failed to follow deportation orders.
“It is the intention of ICE to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777,” Lisa Hoechst, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, said in a letter dated June 25, 2019, to Edith Espinal Moreno.
But according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), these kinds of notices are nothing new; the agency says they’ve been issuing them since December of 2018 on a case-by-case basis.
“ICE is committed to using various enforcement methods — including arrest, detention, technological monitoring and financial penalties — to enforce U.S. immigration law and maintain the integrity of legal orders issued by judges,” said ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, a phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is allegedly what delayed Trump’s plans for nationwide ICE raids on illegal immigrants. The series of coordinated arrests were set to hit 10 major American cities, but Trump subsequently announced, via Twitter, that he would be giving Congress several weeks to “get together and work out a solution,” per CNN.
Several undocumented immigrants living in houses of worship have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the latest crackdown on illegal immigration by the Trump administration https://t.co/9OYKj9sgNH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 5, 2019
CNN also reports that a source claims that Trump and Pelosi spoke for about 12 minutes.
“Democrats aren’t going to compromise their values,” said the source, an anonymous Democratic aide that believed Trump’s surprise sweep announcement was a political ploy for power. “He’s walked away from several deals on immigration. We have no illusions here.”
Although Trump said his planned sweep would target “millions” of undocumented immigrants, many critics suggest that this won’t be possible, pointing to the problematic time U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is already having without the stress of massive raids.
Trump’s campaign in 2016 ran on promises of cracking down on immigration and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, his 2020 campaign announcement coincided with his immigration sweep plan. But despite the Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration, The Inquisitr reported that Axios numbers put Trump’s deportation numbers below former President Barack Obama’s.
Regardless, Trump critics point to his administration’s handling of immigration and suggest that it is much poorer than Obamas — despite the lower overall numbers.