Former President Donald Trump has unveiled a sweeping immigration plan for a potential second term in 2024, promising to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, end birthright citizenship, and deny entry to legal immigrants based on their ideological beliefs. [Source]
Trump outlined his vision for a “secure and prosperous” America. He argued that his plan would protect the nation from “criminals, terrorists, drug smugglers, and Marxists,” aiming to “destroy our way of life.”
The proposal features a series of unprecedented measures designed to drastically reduce both legal and illegal immigration to the U.S. and bolster enforcement and border security.
Trump intends to mobilize the National Guard and other federal agencies for a “massive deportation blitz,” targeting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and those with final removal orders from immigration courts. He plans to prioritize the deportation of gang members, smugglers, and other criminals, invoking a seldom-referenced section of the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts that permits the president to expel any foreigner considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” [Source]
End Birthright Citizenship
Trump aims to issue an executive order to terminate the practice of automatically granting citizenship to children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents—a right established in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. He believes this policy acts as a magnet for illegal immigration and results in “anchor babies” who can later sponsor their relatives for legal status. He is prepared to challenge any legal objections from the Supreme Court, which has previously upheld birthright citizenship. [Source]
Trump plans to enforce a long-standing, albeit infrequently applied, law barring communists from entering the U.S. He proposes broadening this to exclude individuals with “Marxist” beliefs deemed incompatible with American values. All potential immigrants, refugees, and visitors would undergo “extreme vetting” and must pass an ideological assessment before admission. This, he claims, will thwart the entry of “radical leftists” wishing to “impose socialism” on the U.S.
Trump remains committed to completing the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, initiated during his first term but halted by President Joe Biden. He plans to allocate funds from the Department of Defense and other avenues to construct the outstanding 1,500 miles of barrier, in addition to extending Texas’ disputed floating barriers in the Rio Grande. He also wishes to reintroduce policies that limit asylum, necessitate migrants to stay in Mexico pending their hearings, and compel Mexico and other nations to receive deported citizens.
Many have criticized Trump’s proposal, including immigration advocates, human rights organizations, and legal experts, denouncing it as “extreme,” “unconstitutional,” and “inhumane.”
Angela Kelley, a distinguished former immigration official from the Biden administration, described Trump’s plan as a “nightmare scenario” that would “terrorize” immigrants and undercut American principles and interests. Kelley criticized Trump’s proposal as rooted in “fear-mongering,” “xenophobia,” and “falsehoods,” anticipating strong legal opposition and public disapproval.
She argued that Biden’s approach to immigration, focusing on the underlying reasons for migration, broadening legal avenues, overhauling the asylum system, investing in border facilities and technology, and offering a pathway to citizenship for qualifying undocumented immigrants, was more equitable, compassionate, and efficient.
While they confront legal and operational challenges, Trump’s immigration suggestions have gained support from the Republican presidential contenders who are nearest to him in the polls. Both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy have committed to executing large-scale deportations and terminating birthright citizenship.
GOP candidates are united in opposing the acceptance of Palestinian refugees in the U.S.