The arrests of hundreds of immigrants last week marked the first large-scale raid under the Trump administration — and the crackdown was, by all indications, just the start of much more to come.
The expansive executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump allows a significantly broader population of immigrants to be picked up for deportation. And Trump has signaled he has every intention of using that authority to carry out his campaign pledge to deport millions of foreigners from the United States.
Immigration advocates say the stepped-up enforcement amounts to a new deportation dragnet that’s ensnaring otherwise law-abiding immigrants.
“In four weeks, we’ve seen three incredibly harsh executive orders targeting the immigrant community,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “This is what he campaigned on, and now the country has to deal with the consequences.”
But for Trump, it’s working out just as planned.
“We’re actually taking people that are criminals — very, very hardened criminals in some cases — with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems, and we are getting them out,” Trump said at a news conference Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “And that’s what I said I would do.”
One of Trump’s top advisers, Stephen Miller, also credited the administration’s new executive order with the “more vigorous immigration enforcement activities,” telling Fox News that Trump has “taken new and greater steps to remove criminal aliens from our communities.”