President-elect Donald J Trump told CBS’ 60 Minutes he plans to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants. Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform says 50,000 Irish undocumented should not panic or react rashly.
When questioned about his planned policy the President-elect said “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”
In a statement Chairperson of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Ciaran Staunton expressed concern at misleading media reports about the potential deportation of undocumented immigrants under the platform put forward by president-elect Donald Trump.
Staunton said “We must not scare and cause unnecessary concern in our community with false and sensationalized headlines, we all have responsibility to report the truth and provide our community with real updates on what is happening.”
"While we are all concerned with many of President-elect Trump's statements on immigration during his campaign, we urge people not make any rash decisions or live in fear of a knock on the door. We will keep a close eye on events as they progress in Washington" said Staunton.
The President-elect has used the figure of “two million” undocumented people with criminal records previously experts have poked holes in its accuracy.
According to the Department of Homeland Security and the Migration Policy Institute there are 1.9 million “removable criminal aliens” in the United States, this includes all non-citizens with a criminal conviction, both legal residents and undocumented. Of these about 820,000 are undocumented immigrants, the Washington Post reports.
During Donald Trump’s interview, aired on Sunday night, he was asked “What about the pledge to deport millions and millions of undocumented immigrants?”
Having addressed the issue of those undocumented peoples with criminal records Trump expanded on his plan for the other eight to nine million undocumented people which would remain. He told Lesley Stahl, “After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that-- But before we make that determination-- Lesley, it’s very important, we want to secure our border.
Throughout the Republican candidate’s campaign he promised to crackdown on illegal immigration, most famously planning to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Stahl also asked the President-elect about his first meeting with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan. Trump said there were three things the government places to tackle right away, rather than focusing on immigration. He said “It was health care, there was immigration and there was a major tax bill lowering taxes in this country. We’re going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes.”
Stahl also referenced the fact that the Republican Party now dominates both the Senate and Congress. Trump said “I have both Houses and we have the presidency, so we can do things…It’s been a long time since it’s happened.”
On Sunday House Speaker Ryan spoke to CNN and seemed to contradict Trump’s plans for deportation. He said “We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump’s not planning on that. I think we should put people’s minds at ease: That is not what our focus is. That is not what we’re focused on. We’re focused on securing the border.”
“We think that’s first and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue, we’ve got to know who’s coming and going into the country—we’ve got to secure the border.”