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Trump Allies Draw Up Plans for Unprecedented Immigration Crackdown

Here's the sad part. Prior to Biden opening the floodgates, immigration in this country was generally a huge success. Years of Mexicans entering the US had produced a large additional population of hard-working tax tax-paying folks who assimilated and provided much-needed skills to make the US better.

The folks sneaking in had skills, a strong work ethic, and contributed. The current crop from Venezuela is not "that". The highly skilled from that country long ago left and resettled elsewhere in South America. The folks the other South American countries turned away are the ones coming to the US.

As a result Trump is going to campaign on cleaning up Biden's mess. He'll win and we'll be forced to overcorrect.

Trump Allies Draw Up Plans for Unprecedented Immigration Crackdown

Advisers to former president are getting a head start on clearing the hurdles they would face

By Michelle Hackman and Andrew Restuccia, WSJ

May 17, 2024

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s allies are drawing up detailed proposals to implement the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s plans for an unprecedented immigration crackdown, including an effort that would deport asylum seekers to other countries, according to people involved in the effort.

A cadre of former Trump administration officials, Trump supporters and conservative immigration wonks are writing executive orders, policy memos and other documents in a bid to transform campaign rhetoric into policy. The goal, the people said, is to be ready on the first day of a Trump presidency to stem the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, unwind President Biden’s immigration agenda and lay the groundwork for what the former president has said would be the largest mass deportation in U.S. history.

Those involved are discussing issues including ways to expedite migrants’ asylum hearings to make them more quickly eligible for deportation; rescind deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of migrants created by the Biden administration; and force countries across the globe to accept back more of their deported citizens.

Outside advisers have started identifying countries in South America, including Panama, and in Africa that could become partners for new asylum deals, the people involved in the effort said. In 2020, the Trump administration struck a deal with Guatemala on a short-lived program that sent back roughly 1,000 migrants from neighboring El Salvador and Honduras to seek asylum there. Advisers want to revive the idea, in part inspired by an accord struck between the U.K. and Rwanda in 2022 that would allow the U.K. to send migrants seeking asylum to the East African country instead. (The plan hasn’t gone into effect yet because of legal challenges.)

The extent of the planning shows Trump’s outside advisers are getting a head start on clearing the hurdles they would face in enacting the deportation campaign, which has become Trump’s signature 2024 campaign promise on immigration.

“The logistical challenges will be really significant,” a former senior Trump administration official said.

In addition to recruiting enough manpower to arrest migrants and opening up enough detention space to hold them, another important roadblock looms: The migrants who have arrived in the U.S. under the Biden administration aren’t currently legally deportable. And for those who are, many of their home countries won’t take them back. The executive actions that Trump’s advisers are planning are intended to circumvent those constraints without action from Congress.

There is also the question of who would lead such an effort. Trump’s high-profile supporters are jockeying for government posts should he return to the White House. Stephen Miller, the lead architect of much of Trump’s first-term immigration agenda, is widely expected to return to the administration, likely in a senior White House role.

Some Trump advisers have discussed Tom Homan, who led U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration, as a candidate to lead the Department of Homeland Security or serve as a “border czar,” a position that wouldn’t require Senate confirmation. Others who are seen by people close to Trump as candidates for senior jobs include: Chad Wolf, the former acting Homeland Security secretary; Mark Morgan, the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Joe Edlow, the former acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Homan said he would strongly consider a position in the administration if asked to serve. “I agree with the president: It has to be a historic deportation operation, because we’ve had a historic influx,” he said.

The discussions about Trump’s second-term immigration agenda are unfolding inside conservative groups, including the America First Policy Institute, which is run by former Trump administration officials, and the Heritage Foundation, which oversees Project 2025, an effort by dozens of right-leaning organizations to plan for the next Republican administration. Other conversations are taking place in informal settings—with Trump campaign officials and Trump himself—and aren’t affiliated directly with those groups.

Rob Law, director for homeland security and immigration at the America First Policy Institute, confirmed that the group has identified executive actions on immigration. A Heritage Foundation spokeswoman didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Former President Donald Trump has said that if he wins the November election he would take action on his first day in the White House to ‘close the border.’

The Trump campaign said outside groups don’t speak for the former president.

“Despite our being crystal clear, some ‘allies’ haven’t gotten the hint, and the media, in their anti-Trump zeal, has been all-too-willing to continue using anonymous sourcing and speculation about a second Trump administration in an effort to prevent a second Trump administration,” Trump senior advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said. “Unless a message is coming directly from President Trump or an authorized member of his campaign team, no aspect of future presidential staffing or policy announcements should be deemed official.”

Senior officials at the outside groups expect that at least some of their draft plans will be put in place if Trump wins the election. They hope to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2016, when Trump abruptly fired the head of his presidential transition team, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and tossed out the reams of plans that Christie’s team had drawn up.

Trump has said he would act like a dictator on his first day back at the White House, when he would harness the power of his office to “close the border” and expand oil drilling. Behind that assertion, which has rattled constitutional scholars and many Democrats, is a desire by the president and his advisers to issue executive actions on immigration shortly after inauguration.

People close to Trump say the effort is modeled in part on Biden’s first day in office in 2021, when he signed prewritten orders to halt construction of Trump’s border wall, lift a travel ban on citizens of several Muslim-majority countries and end a border policy known as Remain in Mexico. Trump probably would reverse those measures, as well as several other Biden immigration initiatives, on his first day.

Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks about political rivals and issues on the 2024 campaign trail have spurred concerns they could be dangerous for the people he attacks. An expert breaks down the potential impact of Trump’s rhetoric.

Biden campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa called Trump’s immigration plans cruel, anti-American and ineffective. “The American people want solutions on the border, Donald Trump only wants chaos,” Moussa said.

Pulling off an extensive deportation operation—Trump said recently that he is targeting as many as 20 million people—would require coordination at every level of government, as well as the military. Advisers are eyeing military bases for expanded detention capacity and making plans to deputize red-state governors to deploy National Guard troops to add to the ranks of immigration officers making arrests. The former president and his advisers are also discussing using local and state law enforcement to aid the effort.

The operation likely would need billions of dollars in new funding, either from Congress or transferred from the Pentagon.

Morgan said any mass deportation operation would be contingent in part on immigrants—fearing arrest—simply turning themselves in to the authorities voluntarily.

“If they actually see a whole-of-government, expanded commitment to start arresting and deporting people,” Morgan said, “we hope people would come and work with the federal government to have themselves repatriated.”

In his 2016 campaign, Trump said he would build a wall along most of the U.S.-Mexico border, but fell far short of completing it during his time in office. He also said he would pursue large-scale deportations during campaign speeches eight years ago, but his administration deported a couple hundred thousand immigrants a year, numbers that pale in comparison to the estimated 11 million living in the U.S. while he was in office.

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