The US President has signalled he will double down on his zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on June 25, 2018

In a pair of tweets on 25 June 2018 Trump wrote: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.

“Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years!”

Currently, undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have some legal rights under US immigration law. They are generally allowed a full hearing before being deported.

Trump’s comments come in the wake of his decision to end the policy of separating undocumented migrant children from their parents. The policy had prompted a humanitarian outcry and had been widely criticised by both sides of US politics.

More than 2,300 children had been separated from their parents under the policy. There are now plans to reunite families at a Texas detention centre.

Since that decision Trump has continued to broadly criticise US immigration law in speeches and public appearances. He recently warned that immigrants may “infest” the US.

Whether Trump has the support to pass a bill changing immigration law is another matter. So far, he has lacked sufficient numbers even within the Republican party to rewrite immigration law.

Criticism of Trump’s tweets

Omar Jadwat, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, slammed Trump’s idea of bypassing the court system as unconstitutional.

“Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally.”

Democratic Senator Adam Schiff tweeted that Trump’s suggestions demonstrated the “nightmare isn’t over” in terms of US immigration policy.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was also critical of Trump’s comments in a statement from National Executive Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad.

“This clear call for an end to the constitutionally-guaranteed right to due process is symptomatic of an administration that disdains both the Constitution and our judicial system, and would subject those who cross our borders to the whims of unaccountable officials acting on the twisted logic of white supremacy and racism.

“All Americans should be outraged by this affront to our values and democracy.”

“Encouraging illegal immigration”

On 24 June 2018, Republic Senator Ron Johnson told CNN’s State of the Union that the US “have been encouraging illegal immigration.”

“We don’t have the capacity to handle all the unaccompanied children, all the family units that are now flooding our border because of a host of judicial decisions, legal precedent and laws,” he said.

Johnson, the chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also said that demand for illicit drugs in the US had driven political instability in Central America which had in turn contributed to greater numbers of people attempting to enter the US illegally.

He also pointed the finger at the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy which was implemented by Barack Obama in 2012.