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Immigrants: Trump Turns the Heat Up

January 27, 2017
Plain English Version
A boy looks at U.S. workers building a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

A boy looks at U.S. workers building a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

President Trump is making good on what he said during the campaign.

He said, “Build the wall” on the U.S. Mexican border. It is easier to say that than it is to build it. For one thing, there is a wall already. Trump wants to make his stronger and longer.

There are few things to remember. The wall will take years to build and cost billions of dollars. Congress has to give him the money. Private citizens own much of the land. Many lawsuits will take place. There are many concerns about the impact the wall will have on land and water.

Trump’s new Secretary of Homeland Security, said a wall is not the answer by itself. There has to be “layers” of security. Trump pointed out a problem with the wall. He said, “If they ever go up the wall, they are in trouble because there is no way to get down. Well, maybe a rope.”

Trump said Mexico would “reimburse” the U.S. for the cost of the wall. It may be “complicated,” he said.

There are other problems with the wall. Few Mexicans are trying to get into the U.S. these days. In fact, more are leaving than coming. Also, about half the undocumented here first came on tourist or student visas. They did not leave.

Now, most of the new arrivals at the wall are young people. They come from Central American countries. They do not try to slip into the U.S. by going over or around the wall. They give themselves up to guards at the border. They seek asylum from danger in their countries.

For Trump, the answer is more of everything. More wall, more border agents, more enforcement of deportation laws.

President Obama stood for some of the same things that President Trump wants. Both presidents wanted to get criminals out of the country. Advocates called Obama, the “deporter-in-chief.” It was not a compliment.

There are other issues ahead. Trump wants to move against “sanctuary cities.” These are cities that support the undocumented. Trump wants to punish these cities by withholding federal funds. The details of his plan are not clear. The cities (including New York and Los Angeles) vow to resist.

Trump has also not yet said what he will do about the “Dreamers.” These are the children of the undocumented who were brought to the U.S. as children. They regard the U.S. as their home. Obama protected them. It is unknown if Trump will deport them.

Source: The New York Times January 25, 2017

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