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Trump to Say Adios to 2M Undocumented Immigrants. But, How is New York Responding?

The President has spoken, and he made it clear that about 2-3 millions of undocumented immigrants may be deported after his January inauguration in 2017.

Even during the campaign, he stood his ground and made it clear – he wants undocumented immigrants who have criminal records out of America. In his most recent appearance in the 60 Minutes broadcast, the billionaire/president-elect expressed his desire to get rid of the undocumented immigrants who have been convicted as drug dealers, have criminal records or are known gang members. His other option? – to incarcerate them.

His stance on undocumented immigrants was not a surprise as he had mentioned it several times during his campaign. In the interview, Trump reiterated that after securing his promised border, his team would take the necessary actions to go after the remaining undocumented immigrants residing in the country.

Although he was inundated with criticism over his comments on the issue of illegal immigration, the President-Elect remained adamant about establishing a sturdier border and targeting the undocumented immigrants to be sent back to their home countries. One of his comments that received the biggest backlash was when he specifically mentioned Mexico and how they “people with a lot of problems.” While he acknowledged that some are “good people”, he likewise emphasized that some of the people crossing the borders are brought problems, drugs, and are boosting crimes.

As per information derived from the Washington Post Fact Checker, Trump may have utilized information from the 2013 report released by the Department of Homeland Security. According to the report, there are about 1.9 millions of individuals considered as ‘removable criminal aliens’ residing in the US. What Mr. Trump may have failed to consider, however, is that the said figure likewise includes those who are regarded as lawful or legal permanent residents. In addition, there are also those who have been granted temporary visas among the almost 2 million people he wishes to deport.

While tracking down the undocumented immigrants also took place during the Obama’s administration, Trump promised to continue the measure but with ‘more energy’. Critics are now looking forward to seeing the magnitude, scale, and speed of the implementation as it is still unclear how Trump would carry the program out after his inauguration. Parts of his immigration-related plan is also to require Mexico to pay its share for the border wall and to ban Muslims from the entering the country. The question now is – will the mass deportation program take place effectively and immediately? At least not in New York. Read on and find out.

NYC Vows to Delete Personal Records and ID Cards Data to Protect Immigrants

Trump’s announcement of mass deportation has prompted New York City officials to make a move to protect the undocumented immigrants in the city. In 2015, the New York City launched the municipal ID card project which aims to help the undocumented immigrants in the City to start venturing out of their shadows. With the mass deportation now in the pipeline, the city officials are taking the initiative to find ways on how to protect the identity and information of those who have already availed themselves of the municipal ID cards. One option they find viable is to possibly delete these data using a self-destruct mechanism so as to ensure that every single datum is erased by the end of the year.

Although the plan did not sit well with one of the lawmakers, immigrants in the Big Apple take comfort in the current stance of the city. The considerable concern expressed by the immigrants was somehow subdued with Mayor De Blasio’s statement on the issue. According to him, the City of New York would absolutely keep all cardholders’ identities safe, including those of the undocumented immigrants. He likewise mentioned that officials would continuously assess whether deletion of the said data would provide the utmost protection for the undocumented immigrants who have finally earned an ID.

New York City is not the only state which has an existing municipal ID system. The program was first adopted by New Haven, Connecticut in 2007. San Francisco and Los Angeles, California followed suit. At present, there are now 10 different cities across the US that have adopted the program. Among all of these, the program implemented in New York is hailed as the most ambitious as it has around 800,000 card holders. The City has likewise encouraged all people to sign up – even the homeless and the half million of the undocumented immigrant in the city. The purpose is clear – this is to help everyone perform daily functions such as a simple opening of a bank account, cashing a check or attending public schools. The ID card system is highly beneficial for all the undocumented immigrants. Even the Pope himself and UN Secretary-General had their own ceremonial ID cards. Although many advocates of civil liberties have sounded alarms on the collection of data, the city has guaranteed protection of all information collected. A key feature of the program which brought many users comfort is the language which refers to the automatic destruction of information by the end of the year Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis believes that the destruction of information would prove to be an irresponsible move. However, the Mayor and other local officials claim that the destruction of data as the most effective measure to protect the undocumented immigrants of the city.


Surge in the Number of Immigrants Aiming at Citizenship

With the mass deportation plan of undocumented immigrants still waiting to be implemented post-presidential inauguration, there are also many immigrants who are now opting for citizenship to keep their rights to stay in the country. Trumps’ election has certainly created a shift in mindset and people have become more concerned, not only about their residential status but also on how other Americans would view them.

After the bouts of ‘attacks’ by Trumps on the undocumented immigrants during his campaign, it has been noted that the applications for citizenship have reached new heights. According to the figures obtained from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, from just merely eight months (between Oct 2015 to June 2016), there have been more than 700, 000 turning to citizenship. Overall, there has been a boost of up to 25% on the application for citizenship. Other impacts of Trump’s words include the volume of requests filed at the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Loyola Law School. This LA-based immigration clinic has assisted immigrants with the process of citizenship and naturalization.

Goodbye US, Hello Canada?

Trump’s words on mass deportation of undocumented immigrants have certainly created a domino effect. With millions of immigrants going to be affected by the plans of the incoming administration, officials in Canada are also preparing for the potential influx of immigrants coming mostly from Mexico. Canadian officials are also looking into scrapping the visa requirements which would also help boost the number of business travelers and tourists. It can be recalled that from 2005 to 2008 alone, the number of Mexican immigrants tripled. However, the number of asylum dropped significantly at the onset of 2015 after visa requirements were introduced. Whether Trump carries out it his campaign pledges immediately or not, his policies have already impacted the immigration policies and plans of the US and the neighboring countries. It was clear that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship believe that the potential surge in immigrants in Canada would also be instrumental in yielding deeper and sturdier ties between Mexico and Canada. As for how the President-Elect’s immigration plan will affect domestic relations, we will have to wait and see. For now, the world awaits the fate of the undocumented immigrants in the US.