President Trump Is Beginning to Build the Apparatus of Human Misery He Promised During the Campaign

Two memos signed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Monday are a grim blueprint for President Trump's promised mass deportations. As implementation instructions for his January executive orders on interior and border immigration enforcement, they’re an operating manual for unprecedentedly vicious ICE and CBP crackdowns. 

Heartless and cruel, the memos promise changes that will shred due process and propose to expand an already enormous federal deportation force by 15,000 new agents.  Fortunately, Congress has budget control that can stop some of Trump’s terrible personnel and policy choices, including his border wall. And as with Trump’s Muslim ban, the ACLU will fight to block these memos’ unconstitutional efforts to detain and deport millions of human beings.

We think the last administration got a lot wrong about immigration enforcement — it’s ludicrous to say that President Obama’s record deportation numbers were some kind of mirage — but the Trump administration wants to compound the cruelty. In fact, the Trump-Kelly memos aim to destroy three existing pillars of compassionate, constitutional immigration enforcement:

1) Discard Humane Discretion

The memos abandon any genuine attempt to prioritize immigration enforcement. Virtually every  immigrant eligible for deportation — including almost all of the 11 million people in the United States without authorization — is now a target for detention and aggressive removal proceedings.It doesn’t matter whether that immigrant has lived in the United States for a day or a decade. It doesn’t matter whether she has a serious criminal record or not. And it doesn’t matter whether strong equities exist like community contributions; extensive family ties, including U.S. citizen children; U.S. military service; or exceptional educational achievements and potential. Last week’s powerful Day Without Immigrants gave a sense of the devastating economic, humanitarian, and practical effects of banishing our neighbors, classmates, co-parishioners, relatives, and friends.

2) Dismantle Due Process

The Trump-Kelly memos try to eviscerate immigrants’ rights to full and fair hearings to determine whether the government’s attempts to remove them are supported by the facts and the law. Trump and Kelly threaten a massive expansion of shortcuts to deportation like expedited removal, which allows an ICE or CBP official, rather than an impartial judge, to have the only say on an immigrant’s future. Every immigrant deserves a real day in court and access to legal counsel to make their case, both of which are imperiled by the memos’ medieval prescription of detention for all, regardless of a particular immigrant’s flight risk or public safety threat.

Mandatory imprisonment of immigrants who don't need to be jailed, like asylum-seekers, primary caregivers, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions makes no fiscal or moral sense and is fundamentally contrary to due process. All mass detention accomplishes, besides needlessly tearing families apart and sending many kids to foster care, is a lucrative bonanza for substandard private-prison contractors.

3) Demolish the Protective Wall Between Immigration Enforcement and Police

The Trump-Kelly memos encourage state and local police, including those with records of racial profiling and brutality, to become immigration agents. They are a return to failed programs ended by the Obama administration that intertwined local police and immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility. The ACLU and allies won important legal victories against state “show me your papers” legislation like Arizona’s SB1070, and the federal government terminated involvement of biased police agencies like Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s in immigration enforcement. 

Yet the Trump-Kelly memos want to make every cop an immigration agent, ignoring the Department of Justice and federal courts’ devastating findings that Sheriff Joe and others acted unconstitutionally in racially profiling and otherwise abusing the very public they’re sworn to protect. The memos resurrect illegal and unwise programs like Secure Communities, which courts have held flouts the Fourth Amendment by detaining individuals without a judge’s probable cause determination, and 287(g), which deputizes state and local police as immigration agents. These programs only hurt public safety by making immigrants and their families scared to report crimes, like domestic violence, that they suffer or witness.

The Trump administration has sent another gust of fear throughout the land with a mass deportation agenda that is badly out of step with fairness, due process, and liberty. Its attacks on civil liberties and civil rights affect not only immigrants but all who will suffer abuses at the hands of a vast immigration-enforcement complex the memos aspire to create. It will be defeated in courts and communities from sea to sea.

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Anonymous

You Piece of crap Liberals all need to get together and use your own money to pay for all these Illegal aliens coming into this country. I am tired of giving my HARD earned money for people to come here and LIve off (Basically and mostly) the middle class. They are giving a Muslim family's of 5 $5800 a month to live here with food stamps and free medical!!!. That is more than I make, and I have to pay almost $800 a month for my medical insurance. Besides most of them hate Americans anyway, and they only come here because they know that the US is stupid enough to give them everything to live here!! IF somebody gave you a bowl of M&M's and said here you can eat some but there is a few that were poison, would you chance it or through them away... That is how I feel about the Muslim people. We know they have people among them That would rather just kill us, (Believe me I have met a few that HAVE treatened me). So why would we want to Have a whole lot (OR BOWL) of them over here taking our money. And if I went over their I would probably be shot or taken hostage. The way I see it, If they want to come here, they need to Have their relatives pay for their living and medical and they can work just like everybody else or go HOME

Anonymous

I would also like to add the same about all the Illegals from Mexico living here. The same applies. If they want to come here, they need to Have there relatives pay for their medical and Living expenses, and they need to work to live, not off the government. That is the reason they come here, because they know that they will get free everything. A lot less would come if that stopped. I have a friend that owns a Construction company that does fairly well. He has a number of Mexicans working for him. He decided to give them a raise, and all the Mexicans complained that now I can't get my free medical. You know that is TOO bad, and I told him that they need to see what a normal American citizen has to deal with.
The other thing is that everybody is complaining about the wall. You liberals complain the most, but your beloved President Clinton said in 2004 that we need a wall to curb this Illegal problem. There was money already set aside for it in the past. I don't think most people realize it but as an American, If I try to go to Mexico Illegally, I will get up to 10 years in a Mexican jail. All we do here is slap there hand and help them get free stuff, or just send them back. DOES not feel very fair to me as a Natural American citizen

CL

Yes, everybody that is a US CITIZEN is protected by the bill of rights and the constitution. If you are Illegal, You should be punished according to the law. There is a 100 countries I could name off that if I came into that country Illegally, I would be put in jail, or WORST. This country has been too easy on immigration mainly because it is part of the liberal agenda because if they give people free things, they get more votes. This is what was happening in California with Gray Davis, who was blatantly letting illegals come into calif and letting them be able to vote.(besides giving them welfare and free medical) That is against the law and the constitution. It was great that he was caught, and ruined his career, but liberal politicians have been doing it for years to get and keep votes. That is why calif is so screwed up and broke. When you have idiots at the helm, you are going to eventually crash!!

Anonymous

It is our own disingenuous and exploitative policies that have brought folks from the South here. We are to blame. something like common law citizenship could be considered for everyone here without papers. Let's own up to our part, own up to how business has taken advantage of undocumented human beings for a long time.

Let equity and a humane policy fix whatever issues some people in the US have with immigrants. Perhaps those Americans unable to assimilate into our culturally diverse society should emigrate.

Anonymous

Why court in 9th circuit (& others elsewhere) must step in to address prima facie due process violations.

Anonymous

A(AMERICAN) C (CRIMINALS) L (LIBERTIES) U (UNION) What part 10 ILLEGAL don't they understand. If you cross the BORDER into MEXICO illegally you go to jail for 10 to 15 years b4 you even see court. Where is their uproar over that
The PRESIDENTS job as stated in the CONSTITUTION specifically states that his first and foremost JOB is to protect the United States from both FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ENEMIES . k

Anonymous

Enemies. .
The ACLU has been working for years to undermine the UNITED STATES. Unless you are a US Citizen then you should hsve no CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. All Trump is doing is following what it says in the CONSTITUTION. Their is a LEGAL PATH to become a US citizen which needs to be followed.
As far as I am concerned the ACLU can go **** THEM SELVES.

They have defended a CHILD RAPIST in Kansas. Just like Hillary defended one when She was practicing LAW. They are of the same ILK and should go bye bye.

Tim R Slater

KUDOS to Trump for enforcing the Law. Have you ever noticed how the Liberals keep changing things
When I graduated High School in 1975 they were warning us of the IMPENDING ICE AGE(WHERE IN THE HELL IS IT) Then they said Global warming (MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND) Now it is called CLIMATE CHANGE. Anything to fit their Agenda. Yes the Climate changes and everyone knows that.
First it was called ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Then they changed it to UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS (STILL ILLEGAL ) no matter how you look at it.

They come here and get benefits (housing, food stamps (EBT), medical ect. To which they should not be entitled to.
Funding should be shut off to Sanctuary Cities and save the IS CITIZENS money.

Anonymous

No, it doesn't really matter whether illegal (non-citizens) have a serious criminal record or not, whether strong equities exist like community contributions; extensive family ties, including U.S. citizen children; U.S. military service; or exceptional educational achievements and potential unless Congress chooses to change the law. Until then, non-citizens with a visa need only show their visa to avoid deportation. If the ACLU wants to their post bail, there is no reason to remove or detain some of the illegal non-citzens either.

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