MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For President Donald Trump’s supporters, his announcement last week that he will enforce widespread deportations of undocumented immigrants is the fulfillment of a campaign promise.
The President’s supporters also point out President Barack Obama deported more than 2.5 million people, more than any President of the 20th century. But critics say what President Trump is doing is different, and that is why immigrant communities are so concerned.
Immigration activists labeled Obama the “Deporter in Chief” for the jump in deportations during his Presidency. While President Obama publicly stated he was focusing on deporting those convicted of serious crimes, the independent Marshall Project found that 60 percent of those deported under his presidency did not have criminal records.
President Trump also unexpectedly announced he will continue the Obama administrations DACA, or Dreamer program, which allows those who were brought to the country illegally as children to stay. But immigration activists say President Trump’s policies are far more aggressive.
ISAIAH is a local interfaith group that works with immigrants. Catalina Morales is an immigrations coordinator with ISAIAH and is living here under DACA. She was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“A lot of people are scared right now. We don’t know what is going to happen. We don’t know exactly if there are going to be massive raids right now or where they are going to be happening. People are scared to go to work, people are scared to go the store,” Morales said.
ISAIAH has organized a group of more than 20 churches throughout the state that will allow immigrants to live in their sanctuaries if they are facing deportation. ICE policy says in general, they will not make arrests in churches unless the individual poses a danger to others.