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Trump says he would use the police, National Guard and possibly the military to drive out immigrants. • Arkansas Advocate

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump would carry out mass deportations of undocumented immigrants in his second term using local law enforcement, the National Guard and possibly the U.S. military, according to a lengthy interview he conducted with Time magazine.

“When we talk about military personnel, I’m generally talking about the National Guard,” the Republican Party’s presumptive candidate for president in 2024 said in an interview published Tuesday.

Trump has vowed that on his first day in office he plans to roll out a massive deportation effort, reminiscent of the immigration crackdown of the 1950s.

“I wouldn’t have a problem with using the military per se,” he said. “We must have law and order in our country. And whatever gets us there, but I think the National Guard will do the job.”

The interviewer, Time magazine’s national politics reporter Eric Cortellessa, asked how Trump could justify using the military given the Posse Comitatus Act, an 1878 law that removed the military from civilian law enforcement.

“Well, these aren’t civilians,” Trump responded. “These are people who are not legally resident in our country.”

The Biden campaign released a statement Tuesday evening decrying Trump’s comments and saying he would use the military to separate immigrant families.

“Trump’s repetition of disturbing and dangerous rhetoric goes against the fabric of who we are as a nation,” said U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, co-chair of the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign. “He’s not only promising the cruel , to re-implement systematic policies of ripping mothers from their children from his time in office – he promises to go further by using the military and law enforcement to carry out his cruel, anti-American and ineffective behavior. immigration policy.

“I saw firsthand the terrible consequences of his language and policies during my first term in Congress: my community fell victim to his continued and consistent xenophobic rhetoric when a white supremacist – who published a screed online using Trump’s own words – targeted Latinos massacred in El Paso on August 3, 2019. We can’t go back.”

Trump cited the use of the National Guard in Minneapolis in 2020. However, it was not Trump, but Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz, who activated the National Guard in response to mass protests after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd.

Floyd, a black man, died when Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin was convicted of murder in 2022.

“We will use local law enforcement,” Trump said, adding that he wants special immunity for police from prosecution.

“And we must give police back the power and respect they deserve,” he said. “There will be some mistakes, and there will be some bad people and that’s terrible. And you know, the police are being persecuted all the time. And we want to give them immunity from prosecution if they do their job.”

Trump said he would create financial incentives for local and state law enforcement to participate in deportations.

“Well, there’s a possibility that some won’t want to participate, and they won’t participate in the riches, you know,” Trump said.

He will likely face pushback from Democratic-led states and municipalities, as well as legal challenges.

Trump did not go into detail about how much money he would seek from Congress for his deportation plans. Control of Congress, now divided between Republicans in the House of Representatives and Democrats in the Senate, could also shift after this fall’s elections.

Trump added that he would not rule out building mass detention centers to carry out mass deportations.

“It’s possible that we will do that to some extent, but we wouldn’t have to do a lot of it because we’ll move them as soon as we get there,” Trump said.

These policies are likely to face legal challenges, and Trump said he would follow any ruling from the Supreme Court, where he chose three of the nine justices, putting a conservative court on solid ground for decades.

“I have great respect for the Supreme Court,” he said.

Even though Trump also promised mass deportations during his first term, those first four years saw fewer deportations than during the first term of the Obama administration.

According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, more than 1.5 million noncitizens were deported in the first four years of the Obama administration and more than 1.2 million noncitizens were deported during the first Trump administration.

However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration passed the public health tool Title 42 and barred more than two million migrants from seeking asylum.