Donald Trump

Trump Administration Wasting Immigration Enforcement Resources on the Harmless

In a reversal of Obama era policies, even immigrants who've committed no other serious crimes are having cases reopened for deportation.


Hostility toward immigrants, even as their presence here is a benefit or at worst no problem, remains a prime motivator of Trump administration ideology.

Reuters reports today about how Trump-era immigration enforcement is in many cases knowingly expending enforcement time, money, and power on undocumented immigrants who are clearly no threat to public safety.

Trump's immigration enforcement authorities are reopening cases of "hundreds of illegal immigrants who…had been given a reprieve from deportation," Reuters says, under Obama-era policies designed to focus only on those undocumented immigrants who had committed other serious crimes.

Reuters reports that 1,329 immigration cases have been reopened, relying on data from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). For comparison, "The Obama administration filed 430 similar motions during the same period in 2016."

Immigration attorneys say some of the cases involve "people who haven't committed crimes or who were cited for minor violations, like traffic tickets."

Under Trump's new policy, "while criminals remain the highest priority for deportation, anyone in the country illegally is a potential target." Reuters was able to examine 32 reopened immigration cases, which they say "aren't generally public."

They found:

--Twenty-two involved immigrants who, according to their attorneys, had not been in trouble with the law since their cases were closed.

--Two of the cases involved serious crimes committed after their cases were closed: domestic violence and driving under the influence.

--At least six of the cases involved minor infractions, including speeding after having unpaid traffic tickets, or driving without a valid license.

Two specific examples include Gilberto Velasquez, a house painter, cited for driving without a license in Tennessee (where it's illegal for him to have one) and a woman who had her case reopened because immigration officials discovered her criminal history from back home in El Salvador. She had been arrested for selling pumpkin seeds on the street without the proper license.

"Motions to reopen closed cases have been filed in 32 states, with the highest numbers in California, Florida and Virginia, according to Reuters' review of EOIR data," Reuters reports.

Like so much of Trump policy involving a feared "other," whether in immigration or trade, these policies waste resources and harm innocent lives for no gain other than assuaging irrational fear.

To show that when it comes to the highly emotional issue of immigrant-hatred, no amount of pointless restrictionism is enough, the immigrant hawks at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) are mad at Trump for not being relentless enough in booting peaceful, harmless people from their homes.

CIS is complaining in a press release today that the Trump administration has continued to give "access to work permits, driver's licenses" to 192 "new illegals a day" under a continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began under Obama, and which CIS wishes Trump would eliminate as he promised. DACA applies to certain non-citizens who arrived here as children.