Trump-O-Meter

Remove all undocumented immigrants

"We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out. They will come back — some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally. They have to come back through a process, and it may not be a very quick process, but I think that’s very fair, and very fine."


Updates

President Donald Trump speaks to Associated Press White House Correspondent Julie Pace in the Oval Office Friday, April 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks to Associated Press White House Correspondent Julie Pace in the Oval Office Friday, April 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump says young immigrants can ‘rest easy,’ exempted from deportation priorities

During his campaign, President Donald Trump delighted his supporters and alarmed immigrant advocates as he promised to deport anyone who was in the country illegally.

"We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out. They will come back — some will come back, the best, through a process," Trump said on February 2016.

Trump signed an executive order in the early days of his administration that widened the categories of people immigration officials can arrest and place in removal proceedings.

His directive and Department of Homeland Security implementing documents indicate that anyone in the country illegally is a priority for removal, even if they have not been convicted of crimes.

But Trump's tone has softened toward young immigrants who came to the United as children and who have received a reprieve from deportation under an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

As a candidate, Trump labeled the program "unconstitutional," pledging to swiftly terminate it.

As president, he said DACA is a "very, very difficult subject" for him.

Immigration enforcement guidelines issued by his administration exempt DACA recipients from deportation priorities. About 750,000 immigrants have DACA protection.

Trump told the Associated Press in April that DACA beneficiaries, so-called "Dreamers," could "rest easy" because his administration is "not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals."

News reports have said the Trump administration has arrested and deported immigrants protected by DACA, but immigration officials have disputed details in some of those cases.

One case surrounded by conflicting information is that of Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, deported to Mexico on Feb. 20.

DHS says that Border Patrol agents arrested Montes-Bojorquez on Feb. 19, but he had previously (on an unknown date) left the country on his own terms without advance parole, thus terminating DACA protections.

Lawyers for the 23-year-old deny that version of the story. They say immigration agents physically removed him from the country on Feb. 17 when he was walking in a California border town. He later tried to re-enter the United States but was apprehended and eventually sent back to Mexico.

Immigrants and their advocates have expressed skepticism over Trump's comments that DACA recipients can "rest easy."

"This is a president who is saying, 'I love Dreamers and I care about them as children,' and yet is turning around and traumatizing them and their families," Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which is representing Montes-Bojorquez, told the Associated Press.

However, given Trump's new rhetoric toward Dreamers and their exemption from deportation priorities, we rate Trump's promise to remove all undocumented immigrants as Stalled.

Sources:

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, ICE ERO immigration arrests climb nearly 40 percent

Associated Press, Trump tells young immigrants in US illegally to 'rest easy', April 21, 2017

Associated Press, Young immigrants won't 'rest easy' despite Trump's comments on 'dreamers', April 21, 2017

New York Times, U.S. Deported Immigrant in 'Dreamer' Program, Lawsuit Says, April 18, 2017

Department of Homeland Security, DHS Statement on Former DACA Recipient Juan Manuel Montes- Bojorquez, April 19, 2017

Fox News, Judge orders release of Seattle 'Dreamer' arrested by ICE, March 18, 2017

PolitiFact, Trump-O-Meter: Remove criminal undocumented immigrants, last updated Feb. 21, 2017

PolitiFact, Trump-O-Meter: Terminate Barack Obama's immigration executive orders 'immediately', last updated March 3, 2017

PolitiFact, President Donald Trump's deportation of 'bad dudes', March 3, 2017

Department of Homeland Security, Obama administration removal priorities, Nov. 20, 2014

Department of Homeland Security, Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement, Feb. 21, 2017

CNN, Transcripts, Trump Live News Conference; President Trump's News Conference; Trump Defensive Over Media; Trump talks Travel Ban Rollout, Feb. 16, 2017