Phil Tobar: Every American Citizen is at Risk, Not Just Immigrants

July 22, 2019 – News this morning that the Trump administration is planning to scale up so-called ‘expedited removal’ policy nationwide is a staggering and dangerous escalation of the Trump deportation agenda. This is a nationwide ‘show me your papers’ law that will have devastating racial profiling, and family separation implications. This sweeping deportation proposal is a disturbing indicator that Trump is going all in on the nativist agenda and will do anything to distract the country from Robert Mueller’s testimony this week.

Picture this: using whatever pretext they want, ICE detains an individual. Unless that person is carrying on them right now evidence of their citizenship, legal status in this country, or documentation that they have been continuously in the U.S. for more than two years, they could be on a plane out of the country that day without speaking to a lawyer, a hearing, a judge or the right to appeal. This escalated expedited removal policy will allow the Trump administration to rapidly deport anyone without so much as a trip home to gather evidence of status or to say goodbye to loved ones, let alone a hearing, judge or attorney to provide actual review or due process.

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The potential scope and volume of family separations that will result from the nationwide application of this deportation effort are massive – it’s impossible to imagine that U.S. citizens won’t be caught up in the potential or that racial profiling won’t be central to its implementation.

Today’s news fits neatly alongside the other changes to asylum and refugee policy implemented, floated or proposed by the Trump team in just the past few days. Last week, news emerged that the Trump administration is seeking to slash the number of refugees admitted to America next fiscal year to zero. Meanwhile, they are attempting to ban asylum entirely by prohibiting migrants from applying for asylum if they traveled through a third country to arrive at the U.S. border.

With Robert Mueller on the Hill this week and as Trump gears up for an ugly race-baiting, nativist 2020 re-election campaign, the policy changes of the past few days make clear that Trump and his advisors have decided it’s time to unleash their full chaotic, cruel, and unnecessary mass deportation agenda with no restraint whatsoever.

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