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Expert: Immigration Crackdown Would Require "Massive" Spending

November 02, 2023 (1 min read)

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, Nov. 2, 2023

"The vow to carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history would face potentially insurmountable operational barriers. The deportation branch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, has around 8,000 employees. The agency also does not have the funds to carry out the massive roundups and deportations Trump has previewed. The largest annual ICE deportation tally was recorded in 2012, when the Obama administration carried out over 400,000 deportations.  "It would require a massive amount of money appropriated by Congress," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University.  Yale-Loehr said such an operation would also raise significant legal and humanitarian concerns. U.S. law affords immigrants in deportation proceedings due process, he noted. Many immigrants who could be deportable have U.S. citizen spouses or children, raising the specter of large-scale family separations since the government does not have the legal authority to deport American citizens.  "It would be a significant change," Yale-Loehr said of the possibility of Trump's 2024 campaign promises being implemented. "But there's only so much you can do through executive action. Many of the things he tried before were immediately tied up in litigation, and were ultimately struck down by the courts." "