Millions of Immigrants Could Face Removal Under New Trump Rules

The White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to increase the number of immigration and Border Patrol agents by 15,000. Under rules issued on Tuesday, almost any undocumented person in the country could be detained and deported, even if they have never committed a crime. A traffic violation or mere suspicion of committing a crime could now be grounds for deportation. Any immigrant who cannot prove they have been in the United States for over two years could be deported without a hearing. Any migrant, regardless of their nationality, who crosses the southern border will be deported to Mexico while they await deportation hearings. The memos also call for the prosecution of parents who seek to reunite their family by using smugglers to bring their children into the country. We speak to University of Michigan Law School professor Margo Schlanger, who served as the head of civil rights and civil liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, and Cesar Vargas, co-director of DREAM Action Coalition. He is New York state’s first openly undocumented attorney.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president wanted to “take the shackles off” the nation’s immigration agents.

PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: The president needed to give guidance, especially after what they went through in the last administration, where there were so many carve-outs that ICE agents and CBP members didn’t — had to figure out each individual, whether or not they fit in a particular category, and they could adjudicate that case. The president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say, “You have a mission. There are laws that need to be followed. You should do your mission and follow the law.”

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily