President Donald Trump announced in a pair of tweets on Monday evening that his administration is planning a massive effort, aimed for taking place next week, to deport millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump wrote in his first tweet. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
Trump, in his second tweet, said that “Democrats in Congress” were to blame for the failure to act on immigration so far.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, will lead the raids on several U.S. cities across the country. According to an administration official who spoke anonymously on the subject, the effort will focus on more than 1 million people who have been issued deportation orders by judges but who remain in the country, CBS News reported.
If successful, the raids would be the largest, in terms of people rounded up and deported, in the nation’s history, well beyond the nearly 410,000 that were deported by ICE in 2012.
The raids will likely result in the separation of mixed-status families, and will likely result in children living in the country legally being separated from their parents, who are not legal residents.
Pres. Trump announced on Twitter that Immigration and Customs Enforcement next week would begin "removing the millions of illegal aliens" from the U.S. "as fast as they come in." https://t.co/nQQ0CXWXBK
— ABC News (@ABC) June 18, 2019
Partly because of the negative optics that this would create for the administration, and partly because they worried over the effectiveness of the plan, prominent Trump administration officials were forced to resign in April due to their stiff opposition to this plan. Among them were former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as well as former acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello, the Washington Post reported.
Typically, such large-scale operations are kept secret well in advance of their start. Trump’s divulging of the plan may be political — he made it on the night before he intends to officially announce his run for a second term in office.
The president’s tweets may also be hypocritical: Trump administration officials once sought to take legal action against the mayor of Oakland for warning undocumented residents about planned raids in the city.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.