Deportations: Immigration crackdown begins
“Leticia Sosa has a plan, and a list of urgent tasks,” said Lomi Kriel in the Houston Chronicle. Fearing a knock on the door from Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, the Mexicanborn mother of five will soon notarize a document ceding legal responsibility for her four youngest children to her 18-year-old daughter Erika, and ready the teen to handle the family finances. Preparing for deportation is “the new reality for 11 million immigrants here illegally,” since the Trump administration launched its crackdown on undocumented immigrants with its first raids, arresting more than 680 people across 12 states. About 25 percent had no prior criminal convictions— including a woman seeking a protective order against her abusive boyfriend. In immigrant communities, the raids have “created an atmosphere of terror,” advocates say, and with Trump announcing this week he wants to hire 10,000 more ICE agents, the terror will grow.
President Obama deported 2.7 million illegal immigrants throughout his eight years in office— more than any previous president, said Austin Yack in NationalReview.com. Where was “the press outcry then?” In nearly every nation in the world, including liberal icon Canada, the deportation of illegal immigrants “is understood to be a necessary duty of the state,” said Seth Barron in City-Journal.org. Immigration enforcement “is an uncontroversial aspect of national life” in any nation that takes its borders seriously. It’s time we did, too.
The Trump administration says it isn’t going to engage in mass deportations, said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto in NBCNews.com, but admits ICE agents will be far more aggressive. Under Obama, ICE was told to prioritize serious criminals—a policy that caused visible frustration among ICE officers. Under Trump, though, ICE has been given a green light to make “collateral arrests” of anyone who has committed “a chargeable criminal offense,” such as driving without a license or using fake IDs—which are part and parcel of life as an undocumented immigrant. Take Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, who was brought from Mexico when she was 14 and who in 2008 was caught using a fake ID to get a job at a water park. The Obama administration chose not to deport her for humanitarian reasons. Weeks into Trump’s presidency, the ICE yanked her away from her children and flew her back to Mexico. Now that Trump is president, all undocumented immigrants must “prepare for the worst.” ■