Editorial: Another Hard Blow for Immigrants

The power granted to immigration officers is the big problem here

Editorial: Another Hard Blow for Immigrants
Foto: John Moore / Getty Images

The implementation of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration will be a hard blow for undocumented people. It is said that it will be aimed at dangerous people, but guidelines show that the network is designed to catch many more people.

The guidelines established by the Department of Homeland Security limit access to immigration court, criminalize parents who pay to a smuggler to bring their child over to the U.S., and restore the 287(g) program that turns law enforcement into immigration agents, among other measures.

For practical deportation purposes, someone who has been convicted of a crime is the same as someone who is accused of a crime but whose case is still pending, or someone who has committed acts that constitute a crime for which he or she may be accused.

The situation will be similar if an immigration agent does not like a particular undocumented person. The agent only needs to believe that the individual may one day become a threat to public safety.

The accuracy of the agent’s judgment will never be questioned, as the purpose of the guidelines is to free them of “binds” created by the Obama government that allegedly prevented them from doing their job.

The power granted to immigration officers is the big problem here. The guidelines trust the opinion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol agents, even after numerous cases of abuse against immigrants have been reported.

In the recent raids, 25 percent of the people detained by ICE were not on a list of individuals to be arrested.

The rules promote the incorrect idea that undocumented people are a general threat to public safety. The establishment of an office dedicated specifically to the victims of the crimes committed by those immigrants seeks to perpetuate this image.

Surely there are dangerous undocumented criminals who deserve to be deported. But the guidelines go beyond a minority of individuals. Their inappropriate contents and an even worse implementation are a threat to millions of honest workers and their families.

The rules endanger the security they claim to be seeking by scaring a sector of the population who will now be reluctant to report crimes for fear of being deported. They will also harm the economy, as some much-needed job positions will not be filled. Undocumented people and the United States are the ones being harmed.