Via the New York Times:
Trump has directed his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, unleashing the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.
Documents released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security revealed the broad scope of the president’s ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations.
The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Mr. Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of “criminal aliens” and warning that such unauthorized immigrants “routinely victimize Americans,” disregard the “rule of law and pose a threat” to people in communities across the United States.
Despite those assertions in the new documents, research shows lower levels of crime among immigrants than among native-born Americans.
Administration officials said some of the new policies — like one seeking to send unauthorized border crossers from Central America to Mexico while they await deportation hearings — could take months to put in effect and might be limited in scope.
For now, so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as young children, will not be targeted unless they commit crimes, officials said on Tuesday.
Mr. Trump has not yet said where he will get the billions of dollars needed to pay for thousands of new border control agents, a network of detention facilities to detain unauthorized immigrants and a wall along the entire southern border with Mexico.
But politically, Mr. Kelly’s actions on Tuesday serve to reinforce the president’s standing among a core constituency — those who blame unauthorized immigrants for taking jobs away from citizens, committing heinous crimes and being a financial burden on federal, state and local governments.
There will be legal challenges in court, there will be millions of dollars wasted, there will be families separated, and at some point someone’s going to pull a gun and start shooting, all to bolster Trump’s standing with a xenophobic base of voters that he cultivated carefully to follow him whether or not it violated the Constitution or the basic fact that this country was founded by people who came here from other places and the idea of “illegal immigrant” is based on bigotry and fear.
But it works great at campaign rallies in Florida, so there you are.