President Donald Trump is under fire for keeping his campaign promises regarding immigration. At the end of what was a contentious week for the President, the sweeping scope of his immigration policy is coming into focus.
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Hundreds of illegal immigrants were arrested this week in at least six states. The raids are just the beginning of Trump’s plan to tackle the immigration issues faced by the United States.
Though the initial estimates of the numbers arrested were in the hundreds, there are an estimates 11 million illegals in the United States.
The officials conducting these raids are stressing that their efforts are aimed at known criminals. 3 million of the estimated number are believed to have criminal records.
The raids, which officials said targeted known criminals, also netted some immigrants who did not have criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration that aimed to just corral and deport those who had committed crimes.
Supporters of Trump’s initiative note that all immigrants in this country illegally are criminals, by definition. The Department of Homeland Security can pick up anyone, regardless of their record.
The raids this past week took place in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the “targeted enforcement actions” were “routine.”
The enforcement actions picked up some serious criminals, including some accused of domestic violence and murder. “We’re talking about people who are threats to public safety or a threat to the integrity of the immigration system,” Christensen said.
Though the Department of Homeland Security (which houses Immigration and Customs Enforcement) says these raids were routine, and not a result of the policies of the new administration, protestors have placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump.
The Washington Post, reporting on the matter, talked to some who see these raids as unwarranted. “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.
To make their views known, protestors took to the streets in Los Angeles and blocked an onramp to a freeway.
David Marin, ICE’s field director in the Los Angeles defended the raids, and voiced support for the hard-nosed approach of the new administration. “Dangerous criminals, Marin said, “who should be deported are being released into our communities.”