By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | 4:00 PM
TAGSImmigrants' Rights and Detention Immigrants' Rights
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 humane, constitutional immigration enforcement:
1) Discard Humane Discretion
2) Dismantle Due Process
3) Demolish the Protective Wall Between Immigration Enforcement and Police