Pres­i­dent-elect says U.S. will try to de­port 3 mil­lion

Those here il­le­gally with ‘crim­i­nal records’ are tar­geted

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By David Will­man

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump says his ad­min­is­tra­tion will seek to promptly de­port up to 3 mil­lion im­mi­grants with “crim­i­nal records” who are in the U.S. il­le­gally but will de­fer the far wider ex­clu­sions he called for dur­ing the cam­paign un­til “af­ter the bor­der is se­cure.”

Trump’s com­ments, made in an in­ter­view recorded for CBS’s “60 Min­utes,” high­light one of the chal­lenges he faces in rec­on­cil­ing the rhetoric that pro­pelled him to vic­tory with how he is pre­pared to gov­ern.

“What we are go­ing to do is get the peo­ple that are crim­i­nal and have crim­i­nal records — prob­a­bly 2 mil­lion, it could be even 3 mil­lion — we are get­ting them out of our coun­try or we are go­ing to in­car­cer­ate,” Trump said.

“Af­ter the bor­der is se­cure, and af­ter ev­ery­thing gets nor­mal­ized, we’re go­ing to make a de­ter­mina- NEWS PG 4

tion” on whether to de­port oth­ers, he said.

Trump’s es­ti­mate of how many im­mi­grants have crim­i­nal records ex­ceeds what oth­ers have found. About 820,000 peo­ple in the U.S. with­out le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion have crim­i­nal con­vic­tions, ac­cord­ing to the non­par­ti­san Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy In­sti­tute, a group that is funded by For­tune 500 com­pa­nies, ma­jor foun­da­tions, and the U.S. and more than a dozen for­eign gov­ern­ments.

In an im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy speech in Au­gust, Trump said about 2 mil­lion “crim­i­nal aliens” lived in the U.S., a cal­cu­la­tion made by the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies, a non­profit group that seeks to lower im­mi­gra­tion lev­els. The or­ga­ni­za­tion said it was cit­ing a Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity re­port that counted1.9 mil­lion “re­mov­able crim­i­nal aliens.” That group, how­ever, in­cludes peo­ple who are le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dents or have tem­po­rary visas. Trump did not say when this sec­ond phase of de­ter­mi­na­tions might un­fold. Asked about his oft-re­peated pledge to se­cure the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der by build­ing a wall, Trump said he would con­sider sec­tions of fenc­ing, as pre­ferred by some mem­bers of Congress.

Trump’s com­ments on im­mi­gra­tion were echoed Sun­day by other Repub­li­can lead- ers. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin, ap­pear­ing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said, “We’re fo­cused on se­cur­ing the bor­der. We’re not plan­ning on erect­ing a de­por­ta­tion force.”

Newt Gin­grich, who was House speaker in the 1990s and who is as­sist­ing Trump’s tran­si­tion, said on CBS’s “Face the Na­tion” that the de­por­ta­tion of im­mi­grants in the coun­try il­le­gally who have crim­i­nal pasts would be the new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pri­or­ity.

For­mer New York City Mayor Ru­dolph Gi­u­liani, a close Trump ally, said his ad­min­is­tra­tion “would have to be very care­ful” re­gard­ing im­mi­gra­tion from ter­ror­ism-prone re­gions of the Mid­dle East.

“I think this is go­ing to be a coun­try-by­coun­try de­ci­sion,” Gi­u­liani said on CNN. Much will de­pend on the ex­tent to which each coun­try co­op­er­ates in shar­ing in­for­ma­tion.

One clear ex­cep­tion, Gi­u­liani sug­gested, would be prospec­tive im­mi­grants from Syria, be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity that ter­ror­ists might be planted among refugees.

“We would be fool­ish to al­low th­ese peo­ple to come into the United States,” Gi­u­liani said.

Un­der Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pol­icy, Syr­ian refugees ap­ply­ing for asy­lum in the U.S. un­dergo an 18- to 24-month vet­ting process.

GOP head Reince Priebus (above) is chief of staff and Stephen Ban­non is chief strate­gist.

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