Donald Trump Has Serious Plans for the Mass Violation of Civil Rights.
Donald Trump has announced disturbingly detailed plans for the mass arrest and detention of people suspected of being undocumented immigrants. With Joe Biden’s dismal poll numbers, there’s an uncomfortable chance Trump might be able to follow through.
If you thought that facing felony trials in multiple jurisdictions or trying to convince voters to make him president again might make Donald Trump tone it down a little, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Hinting at a new Red Scare, Trump used a Veterans Day speech to declare, “The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. . . . We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical-left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”
He also recently proposed reinstituting the “Muslim ban” to prevent entry to the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries, he has floated a plan to fire tens of thousands of federal employees on political grounds, and he has said he will try to end birthright citizenship, enshrined in the 14th Amendment after the Civil War.
But arguably most shocking was his new proposal to remove millions of immigrants from the United States, both for its dark ambitions and its level of forethought and detailed planning, which is uncharacteristic of Trump.
Last week, after saying immigration is “poisoning the blood” of the country, Trump and his advisors unveiled the anti-immigrant plan for his next presidency, which would essentially turn the United States into a police state. In his proposed effort to deport millions of people per year, Trump would reduce due process rights for immigrants, dramatically expand internment camps near the border, and “deputize local police officers and National Guard soldiers voluntarily contributed by Republican-run states,” the New York Times reported. The plan would also “shift from the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] practice of arresting specific people to carrying out workplace raids and other sweeps in public places aimed at arresting scores of unauthorized immigrants at once.” (The average number of annual deportations is currently in the hundreds of thousands.)
In other words, Trump wants to hire police and reserve soldiers unfamiliar with immigration law to conduct public mass arrests of presumed undocumented immigrants with little or no probable cause. Trump’s advisors have not publicly discussed how police will determine how people at work or going about their business in public are undocumented — a pressing question if the goal is to arrest “scores” of people at once. The only plausible way to achieve this is to target people based on vague and unconstitutional judgments about their appearance or language skills.
Following their arrest, Trump wants to send detainees to vast detention camps far from where they live in the hope their lives in custody become so miserable that they give up their right to due process and simply agree to leave. He wants to do this to millions of people every year.
Per the Times, Trump’s advisors have also developed an array of other possible legal and administrative changes to quickly deport people they say are illegal immigrants, even those who have been in the United States for decades. Having apparently learned their lessons from Trump’s first term, they say their plans can be carried out without the need for new legislation. Legal challenges would surely arise, and they might succeed, but they would be fought in a judicial system and before a Supreme Court that now includes a significant number of Trump appointees, and which no longer makes any pretense about jamming through right-wing policies.