Saturday, February 11, 2017

The First Large-Scale Enforcement of Trump’s Immigration Order

In six states, immigration agents raided the homes and workplaces of undocumented immigrants, arresting not only known criminals but those without criminal records as well.

“This is clearly the first wave of attacks under the Trump administration, and we know this isn’t going to be the only one,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant youth organization.

Robert Reich asks Why? Here’s what he has to say:

“U.S. immigration authorities are now arresting large numbers of undocumented immigrants in the first large-scale enforcement of Trump’s Jan. 25 order -- including many without criminal records who have been here decades, and have families and children in the United States. Why?

1. Not because there’s a sudden influx. The number of unauthorized immigrants has been dropping steadily since 2008. It peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when they were 4 percent of the U.S. population. Now they number about 11 million, and 3.7 percent.

2. Not because they’re responsible for lots of crime. FBI data show undocumented immigrants commit a lower rate than native-born Americans.

3. Not because they’re terrorists. Almost all were originally from Latin America and Southeast Asia, and few if any have been connected with terrorist-related events.

4. Not because they’re taking jobs away from Americans. Data show undocumented workers are doing jobs – eldercare, gardening, heavy manual labor, agriculture – that native-born Americans don’t want.

5. Not because it’s cheap to find them and deport them. We’re now spending more on immigration enforcement (over $18 billion a year) than on all other major law enforcement agencies combined -- including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshal Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“So why are we now cracking down on unauthorized immigrants who aren't criminals? Because they’re easy scapegoats for Trump. Throughout history, tyrants have used scapegoats to build their power.”