ACLU Releases Legal, Legislative, and Advocacy Roadmap to Combat Immigration Threats Posed by a Second Trump Term

Analysis and roadmap kick off ACLU’s 2024 election policy memo series exploring likely policies from a potential Trump or Biden second term.

June 6, 2024 2:00 pm

NEW YORK – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union, Inc. (ACLU) kicked off its 2024 election policy memo series with the release of “Trump on Immigration: Tearing Apart Immigrant Families, Communities, and the Fabric of our Nation.” The memo includes analysis of the likely immigration policies Americans can expect from a possible second Donald Trump administration — along with a roadmap of concrete legal, legislative, and advocacy actions the ACLU would take in response to these policies should the former president win in November and implement them.

The ACLU’s analysis focuses on a number of flagship immigration policies of a second Trump administration — mass deportations and raids, an end to birthright citizenship, family separation, and efforts to dismantle our nation’s asylum system — that would violate the Constitution and federal law. The full Trump immigration memo can be found here, and an accompanying blog summarizing the memo can be found here.

“These policies have no place in a democracy that protects or respects civil liberties and the rule of law,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “From the courts to the halls of Congress, we will use every tool at our disposal, including litigation, to defend the rights of immigrants and protect all members of our communities from the widespread damage these policies would cause.”

The memo marks the first of seven the ACLU is releasing on anticipated policies — on issues including abortion, criminal justice, and the weaponization of government, among other topics — from a second Trump administration as part of its 2024 election policy memo series. Following its focus on policies of a potential second Trump administration, the ACLU will focus on those of a potential second Joe Biden administration.

From 2017-2021, the ACLU filed more than 430 legal actions against the Trump administration, including many lawsuits against that administration’s extreme anti-immigrant policies — from family separation to the Muslim ban. In the “Trump on Immigration” memo, the ACLU makes the case for why the policies Trump and his supporters are proposing on the campaign trail would be far more aggressive than the policies we saw during Trump’s presidency, threatening immigrant and non-immigrant communities alike. Additionally, the ACLU discusses the imperative for elected officials in Congress and state and local governments, and why civil society must mobilize now to begin planning a sustained and coordinated response.

“Xenophobia and racism would become the touchstones of American immigration policy under a second Trump administration, if he is re-elected,” said Naureen Shah, deputy director of government affairs at the ACLU. “That’s why we must begin mobilizing with local and state governments now to protect communities nationwide from extreme anti-immigrant policies.”

Throughout the ACLU’s 2024 election policy memo series, a new memo will be released weekly from June through August. Seven memos will analyze and respond to the policies of a possible second Trump administration and will be followed by a series of six memos analyzing and responding to the policies of a possible second Biden administration. One of the six Biden memos will be on immigration and include analysis of the Biden administration’s proposed immigration policies, in addition to the executive actions announced this week that would effectively shut down the border and violate people’s right to seek asylum.

All released memos will be available here.

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