Likewise, several of the enforcement policies that follow should be widely adopted: increasing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, encouraging greater cooperation between ICE and local gang task forces, implementing e-Verify nationwide, deporting criminal aliens, ending catch-and-release policies, defunding sanctuary cities, and increasing penalties for visa overstays. These are all important elements of any meaningful effort to enforce America’s immigration laws.
The plan doesn’t address what to do with illegal immigrants already here, which is defensible because enforcement should be the first priority. But Trump’s mouth has gotten far out in front of his written plan, and he continues to talk up a cracked version of amnesty. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, he reiterated his intention to deport, then re-import, current illegal immigrants — a de facto amnesty that is more costly, time-consuming, and logistically fraught than any currently on the table. Additionally, Trump’s stated intention to avoid separating families by sending American-born children with their parents is obviously illegal; the United States government has no authority to deport American citizens.