Immigration Agency to Begin Removing Millions of Illegal Aliens, Trump Says

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
June 18, 2019 Updated: June 18, 2019

Immigration enforcement authorities will next week begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens from the United States, according to President Donald Trump.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in,” Trump wrote on Twitter on June 17, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Estimates for the number of illegal aliens in the United States range from 10 to 29 million. The exact number of illegal immigrants in the United States is not known since some of the aliens enter the country without notifying authorities.

ICE did not respond to a request for comment.

In April, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan, who served as head of Border Patrol under the Obama administration, told The Epoch Times that ramping up deportations is an integral part of the solution to the illegal immigration crisis and that the United States needs “to ramp up our interior enforcement.”

“There are over a million illegal immigrants who entered the country illegally, filed a false claim, have received due justice through the immigration proceedings, and they’ve found to be false, and they’ve received a deportation order removal. A million, and they still remain here illegally,” Morgan said. “We can’t wait for Congress. We need to act ourselves.”

As part of an immigration deal reached earlier this month, Mexico agreed to accept asylum seekers from the United States while they await the resolution of their claims.

Trump praised Mexican authorities on June 17 for delivering on their part of the deal. Mexico also agreed to ramp up interior enforcement to curb illegal migration and deploy its National Guard throughout the country and on the southern border with Guatemala. Mexico made the deal after Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Mexican goods.

“Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border,” Trump said.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters on June 14 that the country was forming a new National Guard force by June 30, with 6,000 service members to be stationed at Mexico’s southern border. The National Guard will be formed from members of Mexico’s version of its Coast Guard, federal police, and its army. The National Institute of Migration said on June 16 that 1,000 officers have already been deployed “in the north and the south of Mexico.”

Obrador speaks at news conference
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on April 15, 2019. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

Trump added that the United States is close to reaching an agreement with Guatemala that would make the country a “Safe-Third” country, just hours after his administration announced it would be withholding millions of dollars in foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

A “Safe-Third” designation would make Guatemala an agreed upon safe place for migrants passing through the country seeking asylum and make them ineligible for asylum in the United States.

“Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement,” Trump said.

The president then criticized Democrats in Congress for taking no action to address the border crisis.

“They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!” Trump wrote.

Hondurans and others in a migrant caravan move toward the United States
Hondurans and others in a migrant caravan move toward the United States in Chiquimula, Guatemala on Oct. 17, 2018. (Orlando Estrada/AFP/Getty Images)

The State Department announced on June 17 that it conducted a review based on Trump’s order and determined that El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are not doing enough to curb migration to the United States and will no longer receive foreign aid from the United States.

The State Department move excluded programs meant to stem the flow of migrants to the United States as well as some of the ongoing programs and funds approved in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

“We will not provide new funds for programs in those countries until we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. border,” said a spokesperson for the State Department.

“This is consistent with the president’s direction and with the recognition that it is critical that there be sufficient political will in these countries to address the problem at its source.”

Epoch Times reporters Charlotte Cuthbertson and Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.