More Important Than Ever: Defending Immigrants And Refugees During The Trump Presidency

Donald Trump is the most anti-immigrant president-elect in modern history. His immigration proposals, if enacted, will have a devastating impact on American society and our economy. Trump has surrounded himself with radical, anti-immigrant advisers who support mass deportation, the curtailment of immigrant rights, and severe restrictions on future immigration flows. Until recently, these voices were relegated to the fringe-right, and their proposals have alienated voters, been struck down by courts, and rejected by economists.

There are three main reasons to decry Trump’s immigration perspective. First, his proposed policies will cause tremendous human suffering here and abroad. Second, they will have disastrous effects on the American economy. Third, the passage of Trump’s immigration agenda will erode America’s most fundamental values.

#1: Trump’s immigration plans will have a catastrophic impact on human life both here and abroad.

Trump says that he wants to deport 2-3 million undocumented “criminal” immigrants (despite the fact that there actually aren’t 2-3 million undocumented criminal immigrants in the U.S.). Trump has insinuated that the term “criminal” extends to undocumented immigrants arrested for a crime, but without a conviction. This is troubling, since of course arrests don’t equal convictions.

The proposed deportation tactics would rely on a deportation force that violates the rights of both undocumented individuals and citizens alike. Such a policy—aside from being a surefire way to implant an overarching sense of fear in immigrant communities— fails to take into account practical concerns, including the huge backlogs in U.S. immigration courts and the logistical complications for countries who refuse to take their citizens back.

Perhaps the most troubling course of action Trump is considering is repealing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or letting it expire. DACA offers undocumented immigrants deportation relief and work authorization if they are brought to the United States as children.

By Matthew La Corte for THE HUFFINGTON POST
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