Mon | Oct 14, 2019

Trump threatens to deport millions

Published:Wednesday | June 19, 2019 | 12:38 AM
FILE - In this Thursday, June 13, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. In a tweet late Monday, June 17, 2019, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin removing millions of people who are in the country illegally. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 13, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. In a tweet late Monday, June 17, 2019, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin removing millions of people who are in the country illegally. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP):

President Donald Trump is threatening to deport millions of people living in the United States illegally, heralding a plan that could help energise his supporters just ahead of formally announcing his re-election bid.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) next week will “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump said in a pair of tweets Monday night.

“They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he wrote.

An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than one million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the US. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president’s tweets.

operation not imminent

Other US officials with knowledge of the preparations have said the operation was not imminent, and that ICE officials were not aware the president would make public sensitive law-enforcement plans on Twitter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

It is unusual for law-enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump’s administration believe that decisive shows of force – like mass arrests – can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the US that it’s not worth coming.

The acting head of ICE Mark Morgan said in an interview with journalists earlier this month that there would be enforcement action coming that would include deporting families, and that it would be done humanely.

Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its National Guard and step up coordination and enforcement efforts.