When #Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, he quickly made headlines when he referred to illegal immigrants from Mexico as "criminals" and "rapists." Since that time, Trump has made #Immigration reform a major part of his core message, though he has received backlash from critics.
Over the last 18 months, Donald Trump has focused more on immigration than perhaps any other issue. The former host of "The Apprentice" has promised to not just build a wall across the southern border of the United States, but also that Mexico would pay for it. In addition, Trump has vowed to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, despite economists warning of the high cost to get that job done. As reported by The Hill on November 24, some of Trump's plans on immigration reform were accidental leaked to the press.
#Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, is a leading candidate to become the next Secretary of Homeland Security. Kobach's views on immigration are in line with what Trump proposed on the campaign, and is considered far right on the issue by the mainstream media. While Kobach met with Trump earlier this week, members of the media took photographs of the two outside of the president-elect's home. In Kobach's hand was a folder, with a document outside reading across the heading, "Department of Homeland Security Kobach Proposal for First 365 Days."
Portions of that document were analyzed and were found to include detailed information about what a Trump administration is planning to do in regards to the immigration system moving forward. The document outlines what the proper definition of a "criminal alien" would be under a Trump administration, reading, "'criminal alien' as any alien arrested for any crime, and any gang member." Currently, the definition of a "criminal alien" is an undocumented citizen who has been convicted of a certain and specific crime, including, but not limited to, terrorism.
Speaking to The Hill was Barry J. Pollack of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Pollack called the Trump definition change a "serious due process question," that would give law enforcement the discretion to arrest a suspected illegal immigrant even for the most minor offenses. "If this is what is being proposed," Pollack said, "it would make any alien a criminal alien."
Since being elected, Donald Trump has appeared to weaken his stance on illegal immigration, backpedaling from some of his previous campaign promises. Trump has now said that they will only focus on deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, and would address other undocumented workers at a later date. The transition team has also hinted a change in how a border wall would be funded, as Trump has now stated that the United States would front the money, but later be paid back by Mexico.