Over the past several months, we heard a lot about "mass deportation" and the implementation of a "deportation force" -- but I hoped I'd never live to see the day‚Äč.
Unfortunately, it's about to become reality.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance regarding their immigration enforcement plans, "set[ting] the stage for mass deportations," as CNN characterized it.
Rather than a common-sense focus on those who have committed serious violent crimes, the new administration is taking steps to vastly increase the population of immigrants who will be targeted, detained, and deported.
The new guidance not only prioritizes the deportation of all undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of any crime -- it makes clear that even being charged with a criminal offense, regardless of the opinion of a judge or jury, is now grounds for deportation. That's not how our justice and immigration systems should work.
They're expanding expedited removals and bypassing due process. They're cracking down on vulnerable asylum seekers. They're stripping protections for unaccompanied minors. They're calling for a massive increase in mandatory detentions.
And how will they do all this?
DHS plans to hire 10,000 more ICE agents and 5,000 additional Customs and Border Protections agents; deputize significantly more local law enforcement officers to immigration enforcement; and drastically expand detention capabilities.
It's hard to call that anything other than a "deportation force."
Our national security won't be strengthened by targeting law-abiding undocumented immigrants, and it's difficult to understand why we'd push due process and the proper function of our justice system aside and spend billions in taxpayer dollars on this draconian crackdown.
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