SACRAMENTO — A new direction has been given from the Trump administration to the Department of Homeland Security and immigration officials on how to carry out the president’s executive orders.
The policy shift is already prompting concerns here in California.
“What they are doing is calling for these agreements to deputize state and local law enforcement officers to carry out the tasks of an immigration officer,” said Carmen Iguina with the ACLU of California at an emergency meeting Tuesday morning at the state Capitol.
The meeting was held in response to the administration’s new guidelines.
The most troubling changes, according to immigration advocates, are the following:
1) A shift toward deporting any illegal immigrant who’s committed a crime — not just violent offenders.
2) An expansion of expedited deportations.
3) An increase in immigration enforcement agents by 10,000.
4) A program that allows immigration agents to train local law enforcement to help with deportations.
On a city level, Sacramento had its first Sanctuary City Task Force meeting Thursday. Members of the task force have been adamant that whatever orders they get from the president to reinforce stricter immigration policies will be ignored.
“What we’re doing as a city is really kind of making a stand morally, but also for the rights of its citizens,” said Yannina Casillas, a member of the Council on American Islamic Relations and a sitting member of the Sanctuary City Task Force in Sacramento.
Casillas says there’s legal standing to push back against federal immigration policy.
“While the federal directives say one thing, the state can’t be commandeered to facilitate that process,” said Casillas.
She says the new directives make undocumented people in the city of Sacramento unsafe.
The Trump administration, however, argues the directives make Americans in general more safe.
Senator Kamala Harris commented on the new Homeland Security directives, saying:
“President Trump’s plan for mass deportations is an affront to our values as Americans and will strike fear in our immigrant communities that will harm our economy and public safety. These guidelines imply that all immigrants should be treated as criminals, regardless of their background or lack of criminal history, and will drain our local law enforcement resources because it makes them responsible for enforcing federal immigration law.
“Additionally, this indiscriminate enforcement will make our communities less safe because it creates a climate of fear that will make immigrant communities less likely to report crimes against themselves. Finally, these guidelines leave our nation’s DREAMers with more questions about their future and in fear that any minor infraction, even unproven, could lead to their deportation. The Department of Homeland Security must provide clarity on what constitutes a violation of DACA under their new guidance.
“If we attack our immigrant community members, our neighbors, our friends and our colleagues, we will never be the country we aspire to be.”
FOX 40 NEWS