Communities Respond to President Trump’s Mass Deportation Efforts
On June 17, 2019, President Trump took to Twitter to announce upcoming efforts to detain and deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants. Senior administrators confirmed his claims, adding that final orders of removal have already been issued to more than one million undocumented immigrants. On June 23rd, President Trump tweeted that deportations would be delayed for two weeks in response to requests from House Democrats for further Congressional negotiation. President Trump clarified that, if Congress could not come to an agreement that would resolve asylum law “loopholes,” the raids would proceed as planned.
In response to the initial announcement of the raids, many politicians, religious leaders, and immigrant advocacy organizations denounced the plan and pledged support for the immigrant population. Even some law enforcement agencies have spoken out against the planned raids, and pledged that they would not assist the Administration in these efforts.
Meanwhile, a representative for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated that these planned deportation efforts serve to uphold the rule of law and the integrity of the immigration system.
Trump Wants Changes in Asylum Law, Congress Unlikely to Take Up Matter
In announcing the delay in the immigration raids via Twitter, President Trump raised a new demand from Congress – that they amend the laws regarding U.S. asylum. Congress, however, seems highly unlikely to seriously broach this issue, let alone pass a new asylum law, before President Trump’s apparent deadline of July 7, 2019. In fact, Congress is currently slated to be on recess from June 29th through July 8th, making the prospect of a forthcoming legislative solution all the more improbable.
Even if, as expected, Congress does not concede to his demands on changing the asylum laws, President Trump still may forego the threatened mass immigration raids, due to public and political pressure. Either way, the impasse between the President and Congressional Democrats, with regard to immigration policy, is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future.