President Trump is gambling on his immigration policy. But it’s a risky bet.
The president is going full-steam ahead with the hard-line approach that his team believes fueled his election win last year. Whether he can bring the country with him is another matter.
On Tuesday, the administration announced a host of changes to immigration enforcement. The shift includes the hiring of thousands of new Border Patrol officers, a major expansion in the number of people subject to expedited deportation and the establishment of a new office focused on “immigration crime.”
The announcement came in two memos from the Department of Homeland Security. The documents reiterated Trump’s plan to press ahead with his famous promise to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, and underlined his administration’s opposition to the policies of so-called sanctuary cities.
Meanwhile, a new, revised version of Trump’s earlier executive order suspending travel from seven majority-Muslim nations is expected soon — though that release has been delayed until next week.
Trump has asserted that he is a standard-bearer for the “forgotten men and women” of America who feel that their nation has changed for the worse.
“We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own,” Trump said in his inauguration address.
Earlier this month on Twitter, he wrote, “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”
Trump aides make no bones about their belief that his immigration stance was fully endorsed by the electorate last November.
White House spokesman Michael Short told The Hill, “He campaigned hard on this issue and won 306 electoral votes — the most for a Republican nominee since 1988.”