Since President Trump officially took office, there have been endless reports of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids and deportations—some have been true, while others were false.
Keep in mind that President Obama’s 2014 policy focused on deporting unauthorized immigrants — gang members, felons and those who pose a security threat. Similar to the one the Trump administration is implementing.
In office for a little over a month, President Trump has stopped at nothing, when it comes to accomplishing his mission of deporting any and everyone who he believes is a “threat” to the US, even if that means one who is law-abiding. This means that immigration officials can now remove anyone with a criminal background. It also applies to anyone who had their deportation postponed under the Obama administration.
, For instance, the New York Times reported that a California resident was given an extension, by the Obama administration, on when she would be deported. As an unauthorized immigrant, which meant she was not a visa holder, she’d claimed residency in the U.S. for 25 years. Under the Trump administration, she now fears the worst, mainly because she could be deported on any given day, and her children, who are U.S. citizens, would be left behind.
The Obama administration also implemented what is known as ‘catch and release’, which essentially was what happened if an individual is caught crossing the border, they would be released into the US. They would then apply for asylum or refugee status, but would likely be denied. More than likely they’ve already begun to establish life in the US. Under the Trump administration, ‘catch and release’ would be put to an end, which means, if an individual plans on crossing the US border, from Mexico or Central America, they would be caught and detained by immigration officials, held in a detention facility and then deported.
Trumps policy promises to expand US detention centers.
ICE raids have become the most controversial of Trump's plans. The Obama administration had established the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which grants a two-year protection period from deportation and work permits to children who come to the US, they are known as ‘Dreamers’. This program enabled young adults who entered the US from Mexico or Central America to worry less about being deported and focus on establishing a life in the United States.
Now how does this apply to Trump's policy? Well, a DACA “dreamer”/recipient, Daniel Ramirez was arrested last week after ICE agents went to his house to detain his father, who is a Mexican citizen and reported felon. Ramirez, who’s family migrated to the U.S. when he was 7 years old, is now 23-years old, with a child of his own who is a U.S. citizen. In May 2016, he got his DACA status renewed (set to expire May 2018). Ramirez was arrested for failing to adequately answer the agents question about whether he was a ‘legal’ resident as well as whether he was gang affiliated. He admitted to having past affiliation with gangs in California, but is no longer involved. He is currently being held at an immigration detention facility in Tacoma, Washington.
The DACA program is the one portion of the Obama administration’s policy, that is not being touched by the Trump administration.
Of the three million undocumented immigrants the President plans to deport, his policy targets gang members in particular, which makes a situation like Daniel Ramirez’s complicated, because according to VOX, he was detained also due to having what DHS/ICE reported as being a “gang tattoo”, which is the only relevant link they have to his “gang affiliation”. His lawyers are currently working on his release, though his Dreamer status has already been revoked and his deportation is pending.
Many who looked into Ramirez’s arrest believe it was a case of collateral arrest.
So far, ICE raids have occurred in New York, Los Angeles, North and South Carolina, and Chicago. Their primary goal is to continue routine deportations, but under this administration, there are stricter enforcements. One thing to keep in mind, is that there are false reports surfacing about ICE “checkpoints” and false raids. Although aspects of this policy are controversial and pose legal challenges, you as an individual should keep up to date on the day to day changes with this particular policy, especially if you face a situation similar to Daniel Ramirez, where a family member is subject to a random immigration raid, and as an innocent—in his case—bystander, are taken in for mere affiliation.