Clarke describes Trump’s policies as ‘dangerous’

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

As United States President Donald Trump has expanded the nation’s immigration rules requiring expanded deportation of undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has described the administration’s policies as “dangerous.”

In a blistering attack on Trump’s first 32 days in office, Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said Trump’s administration has been defined by “dysfunction and ineptitude, coupled with philosophies of hatred and division.

“This is an intolerable combination; indeed, it is dangerous,” Clarke told a standing-room-only town hall meeting Wednesday night at the Jewish Union Temple, near Grand Army Plaza, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. “His executive orders have been issued without a plan for implementation, a ‘make it up as we go along’ mentality that has resulted in anxiety, panic and chaos at our airports, and in our very communities among our neighbors.

“The duplicitous nature of Donald Trump and his aides puts us all at risk, especially when his aides describe their version of the truth as ‘alternative facts,’” she added.

Clarke said the Trump administration has “already undermined the confidence of millions of people across our nation and within the immigrant community, threatening millions of American families with forced separation, while simultaneously beginning the process of eliminating programs that are critical to our health, our safety and our well-being.”

In a revised executive order, captioned “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” Trump on Tuesday said that US federal immigration law both imposes the responsibility and provides the means for the federal government, in cooperation with the states, to secure the nation’s borders.

He said the purpose of the order is to “direct executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure the nation’s southern border with Mexico, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens [immigrants] swiftly, consistently and humanely.”

The US president said the order includes returning Caribbean and other immigrants to their respective countries pending formal proceedings.

The order also directs the US Secretary of Homeland Security to hire an additional 5,000 border agents and to “empower state and local law enforcement to support federal enforcement of immigration law, to the maximum extent permitted by law, and to ensure that prosecution guidelines place a high priority on crimes.”

Under this executive order, with extremely limited exceptions, Trump said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “will not exempt classes or categories of removal” immigrants from potential enforcement.

“All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States,” the order states.

It says that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agencies will release illegal immigrants from custody only under limited circumstances, such as when removing them from the country, when an immigrant obtains an order granting relief by statute, when it is determined that an immigrant is a US citizen, legal permanent resident, refugee, or asylee.

Trump said CBP will immediately begin the process of hiring 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, as well as 500 Air & Marine agents and officers, to find, arrest and deport illegal Caribbean and other immigrants, whether or not they commit serious crimes.

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