Trump’s pledge to quickly deport ‘millions’ earns praise, provokes alarm

border patrol
President Trump’s tweet, which was a surprise to many, did not specify how the mass deportation order would be carried out. Trump sent the tweet the day before he was to officially kick off his 2020 campaign in Florida. (Photo by Agent Edward Butron/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

By Abbagail Leon

PHOENIX – President Donald Trump’s pledge to have federal authorities remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the country beginning next week set off a flurry of warnings from immigration advocates to prepare families for possible deportation.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said Tuesday that 2 million may face deportation, a move he supports.

Trump referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a tweet Monday night, saying “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

The tweet caught people on both sides of the immigration issue by surprise. Trump, who was to officially kick off his 2020 campaign Tuesday night in Florida, did not specify how the order would be carried out.

The response from Arizona members of Congress fell along party lines, with Republican Biggs applauding the president’s announcement.


“The reality is ICE is prepared to do that. These are people that already have a removal order, and so I think that’s appropriate,” Biggs, R-Gilbert, said in Washington, D.C. In an interview on KTAR radio, he gave an estimate of 2 million deportees, saying it would apply to people who have been determined through government processes to be in the country illegally.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, in a tweet, called it “fear mongering” and said the president’s plan would rip families apart. He called instead for “real solutions that uphold our values.”

Fellow Democrat Ruben Gallego, who represents Phoenix, said an ICE crackdown would flood courts with parents and workers while ignoring criminals.

Biggs and other Republicans said the real threat to families comes from smugglers trafficking children.

“They’re selling these children, they’re recycling these children,” Biggs said. “If we enforced our laws, then they’re not going to try and cross the border. Those kids are going to be safer.”

Two immigration attorneys in Phoenix – Delia Salvatierra and Ayensa Millan – encouraged those who could be affected to make plans if they are removed from the U.S.

Salvatierra called the Trump announcement a scare tactic.

“I believe that this is really an irresponsible tweet because in actuality it places the Department of Homeland Security officials at risk and it heightens the danger in which they have to go out to detain individuals,” she said.

Millan said undocumented immigrants need to prepare now.

“Whether they have kids or not, contact a family member or someone they trust that can make decisions for them,” she said.

Undocumented immigrants are encouraged by the American Civil Liberties Union to know their rights, including the right to remain silent, that authorities need a warrant to search a property and the right of defendants to consult with an attorney.

Bayne Froney and Julian Paras contributed to this story.


  1. Why do we have to fight to get our government to enforce our laws?? Deport every person who is not legally here.

  2. Its long overdue. We need ICE to do sweeps of day labor sites, construction sites, and communities where these illegal aliens have found sanctuary. Target sanctuary cities first to set the tune. Anyone sheltering an illegal from Ice needs to also be prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminal activity. If a church shelters illegals then they need to be stripped of their tax exempt status. We need ICE to collect, process, and deport these illegals swiftly at a rate and speed that has not happened before.

  3. Thank you President Trump for standing up and doing what no other politician has the nerve to do. On the way to accomplishing your mission if a few thousand illegal aliens feel uncomfortable, then so be it. Not our problem or responsibility to make criminals feel comfortable. Support our President and bring law and order back.

  4. Ice needs to start doing sweeps of day labor sites, all construction sites, and communities that have become sanctuary places for illegal aliens. Also put all churches and bleeding heart groups that if they shelter or hide those who qualify for immediate deportation, hold them under charges of aiding and abetting criminal activity. If its a church then their tax exempt status needs to be removed and not be returned

  5. The targeted group has already gone through the legal process and ordered out of the country.
    No need to “tear families apart”. Take them with you, problem solved!

  6. “Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, in a tweet, called it “fear mongering” and said the president’s plan would rip families apart. He called instead for “real solutions that uphold our values.” —- Uhhhh… that’s uphold HIS values. Maybe he’s afraid they’ll haul his ugly butt across the border. If they do… take HIS family with him so as not to “rip families apart.” This slob wouldn’t know a “real solution” if he was handed one. Unfortunately I live in “his” district and no matter how many times I try to vote him out, the morons vote him back in.

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