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Here’s Your Brief Breakdown Of President Trump’s Immigration Policy In His State Of The Union Address

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President Trump gave his first State of the Union address, and it almost made history.

The speech came in as the third longest State of the Union address behind Bill Clinton, who has the two longest. During the one hour and 20-minute long address, Trump covered myriad topics, from infrastructure spending to immigration. As per custom, the president invited guests to sit in the audience during his speech. Those guests included parents of teenage girls killed by gang members, law enforcement officers, active and retired military, a member of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a North Korea defector. Trump pushed for slowing immigration in order to curb violence he believes immigrants inflict on the country, and spoke about his 4-point plan to limit immigration.

Here’s a quick overview of his immigration plan.

President Trump opened up the immigration portion of his speech talking about gang violence and murders.

“Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families,” Trump said. “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.”

Trump likened unaccompanied minors to MS-13 gang members, stating that “these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal, unaccompanied, alien minors.” This was after he pointed out Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, whose two daughters were killed by MS-13 gang members on Long Island.

That opening was a segue to discuss a “four-pillar plan” to tackle immigration reform.

First, Trump wants to offer as many as 1.8 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. According to The Washington Post, that number comes from 1.3 million people who meet all the requirements from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This includes certain age requirements, education levels of a high school diploma or the equivalent, their current age, and when they entered the U.S. The other 500,000 would be chosen because they are either under 15 or they meet all DACA requirements except for the educational component. This is a stark change from the hard-line stance of no amnesty and no citizenship from the past.

Second, he wants $25 billion in American tax dollars to pay for the border wall since Mexico is not paying for it. According to David Aguilar, a former Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and former National Chief of the United States Border Patrol, what’s most wanted is more personnel. Some of the money Trump wants will pay for more personnel but he was clear about wanting money for the border wall.

Third, Trump wants to end the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program that he blames for recent terror attacks in New York City. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, referred to as the visa lottery program, was created to boost immigration from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of State, the program offers 50,000 visas annually to people who meet strict requirements before being allowed to enter the U.S. Some of the countries with the highest number of visa winners include The Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Fourth, Trump wants to end “chain migration.” This is also referred to as “family reunification” but is officially known as Family Based-Immigrant Visas. These break down into two categories, according to the U.S. Department of State‘s website: Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas and Family Preference Immigrant Visas. The first one is for immediate family members such as spouses, unmarried children under 21, adopted orphans, and the parents of U.S. citizens under 21. The second category is for unmarried children, minor children, spouses, married children and their children, and siblings with their spouses and children if the sponsor is a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old.

Trump also took a shot at Dreamers during a turbulent time.

During the speech, Trump used his platform to undermine the struggles and fears of Dreamers as they face an uncertain future. According to a CBS News poll, 87 percent of the American public approve of giving DACA recipients citizenship. Seventy-nine percent of Republican voters are in favor of legalizing a community that has been here since childhood.

If you want to learn more about what Trump said at the State of the Union, click here to read the full transcript.

READ: Trump Plans To Offer DACA Recipients Citizenship If U.S. Tax Dollars Can Be Used To Pay For The Border Wall

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

realdonaldtrump / Instagram

News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.

As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.

Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.

President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.

Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.

“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.

Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.

There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.

According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.

“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.

Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”

Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.


Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.

Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.

“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”

READ: ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

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ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly planning a raid in the early morning hours on Sunday in 10 cities.

It is being reported that the raids will target more than 2,000 families in cities with large migrant populations including Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston, according to officials who remain anonymous.

Trump tweeted on Monday that ICE would begin deporting millions of undocumented immigrants throughout the U.S.

More than “1 million” undocumented immigrants “have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges yet remain at large in the country” and called enforcing those judicial orders a “top priority” for ICE, a senior administration official told CNN.

They are allegedly planning to use hotel rooms to house everyone until the family can be deported together and say they might even arrest individuals that can’t be deported immediately. They will most likely be released with ankle monitors, in cases such as parents whose children are U.S. citizens.

Miami is reportedly one of the first cities that’ll be raided, according to the Miami Herald, and the other cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York City, and San Francisco.

Those who will allegedly be targeted include minors who came into the U.S. without their parents and have since turned 18; people who were ordered removed in absentia; and people who missed a court hearing and failed to respond to letters from the Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, families on the “rocket docket,” a set of deportation cases fast-tracked for by the DOJ.

There are around 52,000 single adults in ICE custody overall, mostly those who came from the border, according to CNN.

Many are saying Trump’s push for deportations, including essentially outing the raid, are part of his reelection bid due to his poor record.

The inhumane treatment of immigrants in detention centers has been well documented, with a spread of illness leading to many unnecessary deaths, including those of children.

Recently the American Civil Liberties Union  ACLU shared on Instagram what people can do if ICE comes knocking on their door.

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What to do if ICE agents are at your door. #KnowYourRights

A post shared by ACLU (@aclu_nationwide) on

They advise not to open the door unless they have a warrant signed by a judge since ICE administrative warrant does not give them permission to enter a home.

The ACLU website also has an entire section dedicated to immigrants’ rights with several resources for dealing with ICE, border patrol, and the police.

In response to raid that occurred in Ohio a little more than a year ago, HOLA Ohio founder Veronica Isabel Dahlberg wrote in a blog on the ACLU site:

“Regardless of citizenship status, for workers — including teenagers, mothers, fathers, and those with medical issues — to be treated like enemy insurgents is beyond disturbing. It is terrible, barbaric, and inhumane.”

READ: Daughter Sues ICE After They Denied Father Cirrhosis And Diabetes Medication While In Detention Resulting In His Death

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