Trump Allies Already Drawing Up Plans For Border Crackdown, Mass Deportations

Advisers to former president are getting a head start on clearing the hurdles they would face

U.S. agents in April prepared to transport migrants for processing along the U.S.-Mexico border in Campo, Calif. PHOTO: MARK ABRAMSON/BLOOMBERG NEWS

(Wall Street Journal) WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s allies are drawing up detailed proposals to implement the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s plans for an unprecedented immigration crackdown, including an effort that would deport asylum seekers to other countries, according to people involved in the effort.

A cadre of former Trump administration officials, Trump supporters and conservative immigration wonks are writing executive orders, policy memos and other documents in a bid to transform campaign rhetoric into policy. The goal, the people said, is to be ready on the first day of a Trump presidency to stem the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, unwind President Biden’s immigration agenda and lay the groundwork for what the former president has said would be the largest mass deportation in U.S. history.
Those involved are discussing issues including ways to expedite migrants’ asylum hearings to make them more quickly eligible for deportation; rescind deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of migrants created by the Biden administration; and force countries across the globe to accept back more of their deported citizens.
Outside advisers have started identifying countries in South America, including Panama, and in Africa that could become partners for new asylum deals, the people involved in the effort said. In 2020, the Trump administration struck a deal with Guatemala on a short-lived program that sent back roughly 1,000 migrants from neighboring El Salvador and Honduras to seek asylum there. Advisers want to revive the idea, in part inspired by an accord struck between the U.K. and Rwanda in 2022 that would allow the U.K. to send migrants seeking asylum to the East African country instead. (The plan hasn’t gone into effect yet because of legal challenges.)
The extent of the planning shows Trump’s outside advisers are getting a head start on clearing the hurdles they would face in enacting the deportation campaign, which has become Trump’s signature 2024 campaign promise on immigration.
“The logistical challenges will be really significant,” a former senior Trump administration official said.
Migrants at a shelter in New York City in April. PHOTO: ANDRES KUDACKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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