Saturday , July 13 2024

Biden is now deporting more people than Trump


WASHINGTON: Republican former President Donald Trump is promising to ramp up deportations from the United States to historic levels if reelected to another four-year term in the White House as part of his campaign to defeat President Joe Biden, a Democrat, who has struggled with record numbers of migrants caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally.

In June, Biden implemented a sweeping, new asylum ban aimed at quickly deporting more recent border crossers to their home countries or Mexico.

Even with the tougher border policy, Biden has continued to work to protect longer-term immigrants in the US illegally, including through a new effort also announced in June that would ease the path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of people married to US citizens. He has shifted enforcement priorities inside the country to focus on removing migrants who the US has deemed as public safety threats.

Trump’s pledge echoes his 2015 campaign promise to deport some 11 million immigrants in the US illegally. After winning office in 2016, he said his administration aimed to deport 2 million to 3 million people with criminal records but during Trump’s term in office from January 2017 to January 2021, deportations by US immigration and border authorities fell lower than most years of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, who some advocates for immigrants dubbed the “deporter-in-chief.”

Biden had even fewer deportations than Trump during his first two years in office when not counting rapid expulsions under a COVID-era health measure which was used millions of times to turn people back to Mexico but faced with much higher numbers of migrants arriving at the border, he greatly increased deportations including those of families in federal fiscal year 2023 and the first five months of the 2024 fiscal year, outpacing Trump.

During the first presidential debate on June 27, Trump was asked to explain how he would deport millions of people but declined to give details, saying, “We have to get a lot of these people out and we have to get them out fast.” Biden highlighted a recent drop in migrants illegally crossing the US-Mexico border under his new asylum ban but did not directly address the efforts to step up deportations.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents can deport both those arrested at the border and immigrants who have been living in the country illegally for years. In addition to ICE deportations, there are other ways the government removes migrants from the country. Many recent crossers are quickly deported by officials from US Customs and Border Protection, which is separate from ICE, or sign documents agreeing to voluntarily return to their home countries. Both agencies are part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Trump in an April interview with Time magazine said he would lean more on local police to turn migrants over to ICE. During his term in office, however, some police forces limited cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Trump in the interview said he would turn to the National Guard if needed. Tom Homan, a former top ICE official who could return in a second Trump administration, told Reuters the National Guard, if used, would play a support role but that only law enforcement officers would make immigration arrests.

According to a media poll, a majority or 56% said most or all immigrants in the US illegally should be deported, though the same poll suggested some Americans may be wary of some harsher deportation plans. About half of those surveyed opposed putting immigrants in the country illegally into detention camps while awaiting removal.

Trump in the Time interview downplayed reports that he would build detention camps if reelected. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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