Immigration advocate says Trump’s deportation proposal is ‘wrong, morally and practically’
Immigration advocate Erol Kekic at Church World Service in New York City said on Wednesday (February 22) that U.S. President Donald Trump’s deportation proposal was unattainable.
“It’s super expensive and it’s wrong, morally and practically,” said Kekic, executive director of Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program. Church World Service is one of nine charitable groups that works with the U.S.’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday (February 21) to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.
“This is also creating a reverse channel of people trafficking, basically dumping people into Mexico in harm’s way, is really not a solution to the problem,” he said. “If there are issues here, let’s work together to solve those issues, rather than just blanketly applying this idea of let’s just remove everybody to satisfy a particular constituency.”
The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when Trump tweeted that Mexico should pay for his planned border wall shortly before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.
“This is not a one-off situation where people are just arrested based on their criminal history,” said Kekic. “This is also catching people who are just basically, happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and treating them the same way as you would criminals.”
Homeland Security’s guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that the Republican president signed on Jan. 25.
“The reality is that we’re really targeting members of our own communities who have been the fabric of the society for a long number of years. Many of them have paid taxes in this country for decades and we’re now targeting them for deportation? That’s just morally wrong,” said Kekic.
New York City residents in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Wednesday (February 22) condemned Trump over his new immigration guidelines that will consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation.
“The agenda is to get rid of all of us. And give jobs and funds to all those who’ve got money. And he just wants to forget those who don’t have,” said Orlando Borrero.
“It ain’t right. His parents, their motherland, they ain’t from here, why he deporting people? He got no right to be doing that. He got no life. He’s starting the war here,” said Jason De La Cruz.
“I think it’s terrible. He should at least get some sort of understanding of what their livelihood is like first before you just deport somebody. What if they have family here for years and establishments and accounts, you know? I think that’s totally unfair,” said Curtis Moses.
Trump campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, playing on fears of violent crime while promising to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to stop potential terrorists from entering the country.