President Donald Trump announced last week that his Administration would begin targeting immigrants for large-scale arrests and deportation. Just five days later, he halted the operation before it was to begin, saying “I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution” to border issues. The threats of wide spread arrests have ignited fear in immigrant communities across the nation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency charged with coordinating and conducting enforcement inside the United States, released a statement that ICE “would continue to conduct routine targeted enforcement operations.” ICE reported at the beginning of June that over 53,000 adult immigrants were being held at ICE facilities—a population of detainees which cannot be sustained based on current levels of federal funding.
The President regularly uses immigration related issues in political messaging and immigration has become a fundamental issue of his Administration. Despite the threats of enforcement and sweeping immigration changes, the Administration has been unable to secure funding and cooperation for many of its immigration initiatives. Fortunately, it is this lack of funding which will delay the Trump Administration’s enforcement threat.