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

Native Americans that were removed from their ancestral land by President Jackson didn't protest, had attorneys or advocates. They traveled West known as the" trail of tears" families were separated by death or all died in that trail. Maybe Trump isn't as inhuman as President Jackson. Read trail of tears it still haunts us our American born anscestors were foceable removed from their own land.

Missy

Why does our country protect illegals and not our citizens. When my son got arrested for trespassing he was separated from his children did the judge care No. He still had to pay a fine and Steve time in jail. It was a state offense not federal illegals have trespassed and still free to work, get free foid, medical and education for them and their children. My sons family wasn't given that opportunity. No he didn't come from another country any tips how to become an illegal to get all the help. Will another country give us a false birth certificate so we can become illegal and earn 2000 a week and have wife apply for all free handout. We can then buy property and build a nice home since we can't do that as a true American citizen.

Anonymous

The minute you give an inch on " Due Process" , these creeps take a mile . Absolutely no cooperation is the answer . These weirdos apparently have not read the " Bill of Rights , United States Constituion ( 4th amendment ) or even the United Nations " Universal Declaration of Human Rights " . Well if they don't have reading comprehension skills or human decency that's not the freedom loving peoples of the worlds problem .

Anonymous

It's obvious that none of the writers in this place have ever been Republican. Calling something inhumane, heartless and cruel doesn't even put a DENT in their thick-ass heads and certainly has no effect on their nonexistent feelings. Especially if they're the kind of people who enjoy being bullies - and Trump likes it even more than my brother did when he was a teenager (he once beat someone with a crutch.) Trump's worse than that in his sleep.
I grew up in a Republican family the way it was beFORE this traitorous dimwit was installed in the WH. When they started calling HIM Republican I started calling myself anything but that. Except I can't call myself Democrat, there's no way in hell I'm getting on board with thinking the 10 terrorists at Gitmo who actually DID help kill someone in my family should be freed into an open society, where I think they'll harm someone else bc they'e never expressed a single regret for what they did. But I'm sure as hell not calling myself Republican until they get these bleeping billionaires OUT of politics.
Those nasty brothers, whose industries poisoned the water in my city in 2014, hijacked the party and installed their Tea Party idea in it. I refuse to vote for people who are only going to help billionaires and nobody else.

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