Trump’s Plan May Include Having Police Officers Assist in Deportation Process
As policies under the future Trump administration begin to take shape during the ongoing transition period, a proposal to enlist the aid of local police in enforcing federal immigration law may be central to the president-elect’s promise to address the illegal alien issue that drove many voters to choose him over Clinton’s progressive “open border” policy.
One possible component of a Trump strategy to combat both illegal immigration and terrorism would be the use of a 1996 statute that allows local police officers to be trained by the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency to enforce federal immigration law.
The proposal came to light in on a page of proposals that was accidentally photographed as Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State – and longtime Trump supporter – met with the president-elect to discuss a possible appointment to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Time Magazine reported, “The details of the document align with many of the promises Trump made on the campaign trail, which is little surprise given Kobach’s connection to the campaign and his stance on immigration.”
There is, in fact, an established program established by Congress during the Clinton administration in 1996 and used by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, that creates a coordinated effort between ICE and local law enforcement agencies in locating illegal immigrants within communities.
Although participation in the program grew to include 24 states by 2012, President Obama cut back on it in furtherance of more lenient immigration policies. The proposal carried by Kobach into Sunday’s meeting would restore the use of the local officers in at least 70 cities and counties under Trump administration policies that will focus on bringing illegal immigration under control.
Many local law enforcement departments, even those who support Trump’s position, are wary of being used as an extension of a federal agency.
Sheriff Mark Curran of Lake County, Illinois, who gained attention for locking himself in his own jail for a week to “find out what it was like,” is anxious to find a solution, but worries about the impact the program would have on local communities.
"My position is the same as most sheriffs in the country. We're not going to flip our nose at the Constitution. We're not going to become sanctuary counties. But we don't want to be federal agents running around going into homes and grabbing people based on their immigration status. They’re not going to want to cooperate with you."
To date, Trump has not announced a nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security, nor commented on the surreptitiously obtained photograph of the Kobach proposal.