As of today, the U.S. is facing the possibility that 2 million to 3 million immigrants could be immediately deported under the new administration. During a speech in August, Donald Trump explained to followers that there are, “…criminal aliens now inside of our country, 2 million people, criminal aliens.” The process of deportation has been described, on Donald Trump’s personal website, as a “day one” operation, that will be enabled by “local, state, and federal law enforcement.”
Sounds like a big number, but it’s not entirely true.
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As Fox News reported, “criminal aliens” are “criminal and have criminal records, gang, members, drug dealers.” While 2 million to 3 million sound like a lot, the number of “criminal aliens” is around 900,000, according to data analysis from the Migration Policy Institute. That number that was independently backed up by the Pew Research Center. This amount is obviously far less than the estimated 3 million, cited by Trump. So what this means is that the word “criminal” could be reinterpreted to make sure that including the 900k “criminal alien” immigrants facing deportation, we could expect another 1.1. to 2.1 million people to be removed from this country, even if they are not “criminal aliens” under the current definition of the word.
Misconceptions about immigrants.
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As of 2014, there were nearly 11 million immigrants living in the U.S., with the majority of them living in California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of immigrants coming to this country has leveled off over the last few years, and those who live here are less likely to commit crimes.
Nearly 52 percent of our country’s immigrants come from Mexico, and according to Politifact, “Mexican men ages 18 to 39, the incarceration rate in 2010 was 2.8 percent, compared to 10.7 percent for native-born men in the same age group.”
The reasons for this are fairly obvious, most immigrants are here to build a “better life” and do not want to risk getting deported for committing a minor offense. They also contribute to nearly 5 percent of the total working force of the United States, and are still outnumbered in all jobs by U.S. citizens.
So, will deportation really happen?
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) November 15, 2016
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN that President-elect Donald Trump is “not planning on erecting a deportation force.” He went further to reassure citizens that mass deportation is not as important as border security. However, one thing that we can’t take for granted is the fact that immigration was always one of the core elements that defined Trump’s campaign. If he expects to get re-elected, Trump is going to have to deliver on his promises.
What can immigrants do?
"I am an American. I have the right to live with my family. I have the right to live without fear." – #SophieCruz speaking at the rally today outside of the #SupremeCourt where protestors have gathered for immigrant rights. Sophie is a 6-year-old girl from Los Angeles who made headlines last year when she approached the Pope with a letter about her fear of her parents being deported. Today #SCOTUS hears oral arguments for #DAPA and #DACA and she was their to make her voice heard once again. ? and reporting by Fusion's @bajopatas
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If immigrants are afraid of being targeted by authorities — or worse — yeah, they could leave the country and give satisfaction to the people who feel immigration is driving our country’s demise. But that option isn’t realistic and accomplishes nothing anyway. It won’t fix the anger of deportation proponents, and it offers two ugly halves of the same coin: Living in a constant state of fear or proactively upending your life. Another option could be to find the nearest “Sanctuary City” and hope that Trump doesn’t pull funding on that city. If those options seem grim and angst-ridden, it’s because they are. So seek out positive outcomes by aligning with advocacy organizations.
If you or someone you know is concerned about their future in this country, please look into the many organizations we need right now.
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Those include United We Dream, Border Angels, National Network For Immigrant And Refugee Rights, and many others. Please do your own research on this matter and look at the links below for more information.