Donald Trump has dedicated his political career to transforming the nation into a place wholly unwelcome and dangerous for immigrants and people of color. During the past two years, he and his administration have steadily advanced that racist agenda through rhetoric, the encouragement of vigilantism and the use of a massive and highly political armed wing of the government built for mass deportation. This report tells the story of the human impact, uncontrolled growth and power of the nation’s deportation apparatus under Donald Trump while also providing the policy rationale for Congress to dismantle U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and enact legislation to turn their targets into citizens. The report includes concrete policy recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, local governments, advocates and the next President of the United States on the way forward. It was developed by the young leaders of United We Dream who for years have worked to stop deportations, empower youth and immigrant communities and enact policy change while also tracking and analyzing the patterns and practices of deportation agents. It includes analyses of hundreds of first hand accounts and is the most thorough analysis of its kind ever produced. The “deportation force” is primarily made up of the ICE and CBP, which the current administration has bolstered through budget increases, Executive Orders, regulations, policy guidance, attacks on the agencies’ critics and leadership changes. While the agencies have steadily grown in power through the last two administrations, Trump has used them as an extension of his ideology that immigrants should be driven out and kept out at any cost. The administration has given free rein to ICE and CBP to terrorize, dehumanize, and abuse immigrant communities and has even turned the U.S. military into an extension of the agencies’ mission. The administration has further militarized the southern border, targeted all undocumented immigrants for deportation, incarcerated tens of thousands of children in detention camps, demanding increases to the over 400,000 immigrants held in camps every year and is trying to prevent local and state jurisdictions from protecting their local law enforcement agencies from being drafted into the deportation machinery. This groundbreaking report is the first of its kind - developed by immigrant youth and directly impacted people - and uses both qualitative narratives and quantitative data collected through the wide range of channels that United We Dream has developed over years of community organizing, fighting to stop deportations and advocating for change. At a time when the data being released by the deportation force agencies is becoming more scarce and more suspect than ever, United We Dream’s unique contribution is critical for a balanced discourse. The report’s analyses and findings include:
- Data from the United We Dream MigraWatch telephone hotline for FY 2018 regarding 144 unique reports of ICE and CBP activity across 24 states and the District of Columbia, including direct evidence of the growth of enforcement activities fueled by this administration’s policies including the use of state and local law enforcement in carrying out their agenda; home, community and workplace raids; as well as enforcement actions at courthouses and other locations.
- Data demonstrating the widespread adoption of the United We Dream community protection mobile app called Notifica, which allows community members to prevent deportation, including the use of the app by 15,000 individuals so far.
- Data from multiple nationwide surveys of immigrant youth, cataloguing their responses, feelings, and activities in response to this administration’s enforcement regime—including the commitment of immigrant youth to participate in our civic process to protect their communities.
- Concrete recommendations and policy proposals for state and local jurisdictions, Congress, federal agencies, the next President, and partners to join with immigrant youth to push back against Donald Trump.
- A historic examination of the racist and xenophobic roots of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including how anti-immigrant sentiment shaped their creation and continue to enable their unfettered operation.
- The current administration’s role in transforming non-enforcement agencies into cogs in the nation’s deportation machine, including attacks on immigrants through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the undermining of collateral agencies.
- An expose of the tactics that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection engage in to manipulate the regular Congressional appropriations process, Congress’s culpability in fueling the fiscal growth of both agencies and the fiscal enabling of the unfettered growth of the nation’s deportation machinery.
- An overview of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s unfettered targeting of immigrant communities, including the death of prosecutorial discretion, the expansion of immigration raids, enforcement at sensitive locations, and war against state and local jurisdictions.
- An analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s continued growth under this administration and catalogue of its abuses, including militarization of the southern border, attacks on asylum, and murder of peaceful migrants.