|The AAPI community will be impacted by President Trump's deportation strategy.|
THE WORST FEARS of the American immigrant community may be coming true after details of Donald Trump's plans to deport millions of undocumented immigrants were revealed today in draft guidelines from Homeland Security Sec. John Kelly to immigration officials.
Even though Administration officials say the strict immigration enforcement will focus on those undocumented people who have broken the law, according to some immigration advocates, that could cast a much wider net if you consider entering the U.S. without documents or overstaying your visa "breaking the law.“
"President Trump’s plan for mass deportations is an affront to our values as Americans, and will strike fear in our immigrant communities that will harm our economy and public safety," said California's Sen. Kamala Harris, herself the daughter of immigrants. "These guidelines imply that all immigrants should be treated as criminals, regardless of their background or lack of criminal history, and will drain our local law enforcement resources because it makes them responsible for enforcing federal immigration law."
Of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., about 14 percent, or about 1.45 million to 1.65 million are Asian/Americans. Another way of looking at it is about 1 our of every 7 Asian immigrants is undocumented, according to the Center for Migration Studies and the Migration Policy Institute.
The memos, which still have to be given final approval by the White House, are guidelines to agents in the field to implement two executive orders signed by Trump on Jan. 25 intended to deter future migration and drive out more illegal migrants from the United States.
One memo instructs ICE agents to ignore Obama’s memos on immigration priorities that targeted only recent arrivals and convicted criminal migrants for deportation. Instead, migrants who simply have been charged with crimes but not convicted would be prioritized for deportation. The guidelines also allows ICE agents wide discretion in deciding who to deport and considers anyone in the United States illegally to be subject to deportation.