Trump should de­port crim­i­nals, but let’s be rea­son­able

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s pledge on Sun­day to de­port be­tween 2 mil­lion and 3 mil­lion crim­i­nal im­mi­grants raises con­cerns about how he plans to ex­e­cute such a mas­sive un­der­tak­ing and who ex­actly he will tar­get.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OPINION -

We agree with both Trump and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama that im­mi­grants con­victed of felonies should be de­ported, but we urge Trump to quell the chills his state­ment sent through im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties by ex­plain­ing more fully his plans.

The fear of de­por­ta­tion is a real thing, es­pe­cially for school chil­dren who are un­able to con­trol their sit­u­a­tion or the fate of their par­ents, and now is the time for the pres­i­dent-elect to use his power, or even Twit­ter, to re­as­sure peo­ple he will act hu­manely. Crime thrives in an en­vi­ron­ment where the threat of de­por­ta­tion pre­vents vic­tims and wit­nesses from con­tact­ing law en­force­ment or even from seek­ing emer­gency med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

Trump has in­di­cated he will ex­tort the co­op­er­a­tion of mu­nic­i­pal and county gov­ern­ments in this mass de­por­ta­tion by with­hold­ing fed­eral funds to agen­cies that refuse to co­op­er­ate with Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agents.

Against such a back­drop, the may­ors of Den­ver and Aurora rightly pushed back on the idea that they will play an ac­tive role in iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple for de­por­ta­tion.

“We are not go­ing to do the job of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. What we are go­ing to do is make sure we re­main an in­clu­sive city,” Den­ver Mayor Michael Han­cock told The Den­ver Post’s Mark K. Matthews.

Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion es­ti­mates there are about 1.9 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. who could be de­ported, in­clud­ing those who have been con­victed of non­vi­o­lent crimes such as theft, ac­cord­ing to a New York Times story head­lined “What Don­ald Trump’s Vow to De­port 3 Mil­lion Im­mi­grants Would Mean.”

That same story noted that since 2009 Obama has presided over the de­por­ta­tion of 2.5 mil­lion im­mi­grants. Ac­cord­ing to the Pew Re­search Cen­ter, net im­mi­gra­tion from Mex­ico has ac­tu­ally re­mained steady or even de­clined with more peo­ple re­turn­ing to Mex­ico than en­ter­ing the United States be­tween 2009 and 2014.

But as Obama over­saw those de­por­ta­tions, he is­sued a con­tro­ver­sial ex­ec­u­tive or­der that of­fered De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals. It’s based on the as­sump­tion that these are good peo­ple, and in ex­change for en­trust­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment with their in­for­ma­tion and re-en­ter­ing so­ci­ety, they would not be de­ported.

But those facts and Obama’s good will don’t fit the nar­ra­tive Trump has been push­ing since the day he en­tered the race, say­ing that the U.S. has be­come a “dump­ing ground for ev­ery­body else’s prob­lems.”

Trump has de­mo­nized im­mi­grants in his climb to the White House, blam­ing a pow­er­less pop­u­la­tion, un­able to even vote, for what ails Amer­ica.

We call on him to rec­og­nize the im­mi­grants’ hu­man­ity and his own and re­con­sider his in­ex­orable march to mass de­por­ta­tion.

As Trump pur­sues his cam­paign prom­ises to se­cure the bor­der and de­port “bad hom­bres,” we ask that he do so with­out up­end­ing com­mu­ni­ties and in­cit­ing the kind of mass fear among vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions that al­lows crime to flour­ish.

He should pub­licly pledge to uphold ex­ist­ing de­ferred de­por­ta­tion agree­ments, a move that could help quell the ris­ing fear of an al­ready marginal­ized com­mu­nity.

And he should pledge to re­spect lo­cal po­lice and sher­iff’s of­fice’s au­ton­omy and nec­es­sary due process be­fore de­por­ta­tion. — The Den­ver Post, Dig­i­tal

First Me­dia

We call on him to rec­og­nize the im­mi­grants’ hu­man­ity and his own and re­con­sider his in­ex­orable march to mass de­por­ta­tion.

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