- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

DALLAS (AP) - The former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief said President Donald Trump’s executive order involving the deportation of people living in the country illegally will affect more people than his other immigration policies do.

The executive order allows any immigrant without documentation to be deported for being suspected of a minor crime, the Dallas Morning News (https://bit.ly/2lB99m6 ) reported. The order not only prioritizes removing those convicted of a criminal offense, but also acts “that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Former ICE Chief Sarah Saldana, who led the agency for two years under the Obama administration, said money and litigation will create obstacles for Trump as he attempts to enforce the policy.

“We don’t have billions sitting around,” she said. “My budget while at ICE was almost $6 billion and we were stretching to do the things we were doing that are much more narrowly focused than this administration proposes. So if you expand the mission, you will have to expand the budget.”

She said conflict can occur by “coming in and saying, ‘You will do things one way, our way.’”



According to the Pew Research Center, about 4 percent of the country’s unauthorized immigrants live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Saldana also said immigration courts are already overburdened, with a national backlog of about 534,000 cases according to nonprofit Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse. The group said it takes an average of about two years for an immigration case to make its way through the Texas system.

“This could be a heyday for lawyers,” Saldana said.

She said she hopes Texas policy-makers become leaders in less conflictive implementation of immigration policy.

“Texas is a leader in so many areas,” she said. “We are at the epicenter in immigration. Why can’t we show the feds how it is done?”

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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