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Trump Is Preparing for the Largest Deportation in History. Here Are the Details.

Donald Trump’s allies are drawing up detailed proposals to implement the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s plans for an unprecedented immigration crackdown, including an effort that would deport asylum seekers to other countries, according to people involved in the effort.

A cadre of former Trump administration officials, Trump supporters and conservative immigration wonks are writing executive orders, policy memos and other documents in a bid to transform campaign rhetoric into policy. The goal, the people said, is to be ready on the first day of a Trump presidency to stem the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, unwind President Biden’s immigration agenda and lay the groundwork for what the former president has said would be the largest mass deportation in U.S. history.

Those involved are discussing issues including ways to expedite migrants’ asylum hearings to make them more quickly eligible for deportation; rescind deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of migrants created by the Biden administration; and force countries across the globe to accept back more of their deported citizens.

Outside advisers have started identifying countries in South America, including Panama, and in Africa that could become partners for new asylum deals, the people involved in the effort said. In 2020, the Trump administration struck a deal with Guatemala on a short-lived program that sent back roughly 1,000 migrants from neighboring El Salvador and Honduras to seek asylum there. Advisers want to revive the idea, in part inspired by an accord struck between the U.K. and Rwanda in 2022 that would allow the U.K. to send migrants seeking asylum to the East African country instead. (The plan hasn’t gone into effect yet because of legal challenges.)

The extent of the planning shows Trump’s outside advisers are getting a head start on clearing the hurdles they would face in enacting the deportation campaign, which has become Trump’s signature 2024 campaign promise on immigration.

“The logistical challenges will be really significant,” a former senior Trump administration official said.

In addition to recruiting enough manpower to arrest migrants and opening up enough detention space to hold them, another important roadblock looms: The migrants who have arrived in the U.S. under the Biden administration aren’t currently legally deportable. And for those who are, many of their home countries won’t take them back. The executive actions that Trump’s advisers are planning are intended to circumvent those constraints without action from Congress.

There is also the question of who would lead such an effort. Trump’s high-profile supporters are jockeying for government posts should he return to the White House. Stephen Miller, the lead architect of much of Trump’s first-term immigration agenda, is widely expected to return to the administration, likely in a senior White House role.

Some Trump advisers have discussed Tom Homan, who led U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration, as a candidate to lead the Department of Homeland Security or serve as a “border czar,” a position that wouldn’t require Senate confirmation. Others who are seen by people close to Trump as candidates for senior jobs include: Chad Wolf, the former acting Homeland Security secretary; Mark Morgan, the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Joe Edlow, the former acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Homan said he would strongly consider a position in the administration if asked to serve. “I agree with the president: It has to be a historic deportation operation, because we’ve had a historic influx,” he said.

The discussions about Trump’s second-term immigration agenda are unfolding inside conservative groups, including the America First Policy Institute, which is run by former Trump administration officials, and the Heritage Foundation, which oversees Project 2025, an effort by dozens of right-leaning organizations to plan for the next Republican administration. Other conversations are taking place in informal settings—with Trump campaign officials and Trump himself—and aren’t affiliated directly with those groups.

Rob Law, director for homeland security and immigration at the America First Policy Institute, confirmed that the group has identified executive actions on immigration.

The Trump campaign said outside groups don’t speak for the former president.

“Despite our being crystal clear, some ‘allies’ haven’t gotten the hint, and the media, in their anti-Trump zeal, has been all-too-willing to continue using anonymous sourcing and speculation about a second Trump administration in an effort to prevent a second Trump administration,” Trump senior advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said. “Unless a message is coming directly from President Trump or an authorized member of his campaign team, no aspect of future presidential staffing or policy announcements should be deemed official.”

Senior officials at the outside groups expect that at least some of their draft plans will be put in place if Trump wins the election.

READ 27 COMMENTS
  • Michael says:

    I’d like better understanding of this statement from the article, “…another important roadblock looms: The migrants who have arrived in the U.S. under the Biden administration aren’t currently legally deportable.” How are illegals not deportable? They entered our country unlawfully. This is an invasion, and we need to treat it as such.

  • Rick says:

    I’m all for having a plan and giving your base another reason to vote for you, as if that was needed, but telling this before the election is going to alienate some voters. I hate that Kristy Noem had to kill the dog but writing about it is just like this. Geez…

  • Sherri Hostuttler says:

    and this is why Biden will sign an executive order to allow illegals to vote! you watch!!!!

  • Adorable Deplorable says:

    Start with the Somalians that Obama brought here! We know where they are! Most of them anyway. Start there and then deputize every American Citizen to be able to arrest and deport any and every single illegal here. I could probably arrest 20 to 30 every week at the grocery store. This is a small town in SC… so that should tell you how many are in this entire country!

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