President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin removing “millions” of undocumented migrants next week, referring to a plan the administration has been working on for months aimed at mass arrests of thousands of migrants throughout several major cities in the country.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump wrote. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
The move is quite unusual as such big ICE enforcement operations are always kept secret, The Hill informs, adding that last year, the mayor of Oakland, California came under fire from Trump and several senior officials for alerting city residents that immigration raids were in the works.
However, the ICE currently lacks the capacity and needed staff to carry out the deportations, and the agency has seen a drop in arrests in recent months due to agents trying to deal with the surge of migrants.
The administration’s plan to have thousands of migrants removed has been in the making for months. Trump and his senior immigration adviser Stephen Miller have for some time been insisting that Homeland Security officials round up migrant families whose deportation orders were expedited by the Justice Department this year as part of a plan known as the “rocket docket,” The Washington Post reports.
Acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen expressed doubts in April concerning the plan and its possible implications and were ousted as a result.
In his tweet, President Trump also commended Mexico for working hard to stop illegal immigration, taking the opportunity to blast Democrats for allegedly not doing anything to “fix asylum.”
“Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress,” Trump continued. “They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!”