It looks like Donald Trump and his administration are planning to do something we’ve been worried about since his election; a military-style, large-scale deportation operation that will include migrant families who have claimed asylum here in the United States.
Mark Morgan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on Tuesday told reporters that the agency is moving forward on a strategy it hopes will “disincentive” those who are not in fear for their lives and have legally claimed asylum.
“We have no choice as I see this,” said Morgan. “We need to take some interior enforcement action … We need to continue to do everything that we can within the current legal framework, within the current laws, within the current statutorily mandated duties of ICE, to assist, to reduce this humanitarian crisis,” Morgan told a small group of reporters at a round table briefing at the agency’s headquarters Tuesday. “That will include families.”
Morgan said he did not want to say ICE was going to “target” families, but confirmed that no type of undocumented immigrant would be “exempt” from this upcoming operation. He refused to share details of the plan, but it seems obvious from his words that the main targets will be those who have claimed asylum and anyone who happens to be in the same place when ICE agents carry out this operation.
“I think that a significant incentive there is the fact that once you?re here and you?ve gone through the entire due process in this country and you?ve received a final order of deportation … We?re in a position where we need to enforce that to disincentivize these individuals from taking that trip, exploiting the loopholes, and entering our country illegally,” he said.
To date, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations arm has already deported 66,000 people in fiscal 2019, which started last October and runs through September. Morgan said he also wants to impose consequences on other undocumented immigrants, including those who have overstayed visas, are working in the country illegally, and employers who hire undocumented people.