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Experts Detail Dangers of a Trump 2nd Term on Immigration

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To Access a Recorded Version of Today’s Briefing with America’s Voice, Cato Institute, AILA, and Niskanen Center, Click HERE

Washington, DC On a virtual briefing event held today, immigration experts and analysts from the Cato Institute, Niskanen Center, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association joined with America’s Voice to discuss the details and far-reaching implications of a Trump second term agenda on immigration – from Trump’s mass deportation pledges to the sweeping array of immigration proposals contained in the Heritage Foundation’s allied Project 2025. 

Kristie De Peña, Senior VP for Policy and Director of Immigration at the Niskanen Center, said: “The changes proposed in Project 2025 do not reflect what Americans want to see in a secure, controlled, and effective immigration system. The Project 2025 proposals only further the political goals of a small cohort of people unconcerned with the struggles of our small businesses, growing prices for Americans, the balance of power between the states and the federal government, and the security of our nation.”

David J. Bier, Director of Immigration Studies at the Cato Institute, said: “Another term for a nativist president would obliterate America’s legal immigration system, undermine the rule of law, and sow chaos at the border and in the interior. A nativist agenda for the country would harm the U.S. economy, damage its security, and threaten Americans’ civil liberties. America needs real immigration reform, not mass deportation fantasies.”

Zachary Mueller, Senior Director of Research for America’s Voice, highlighted how Trump and allies are weaponizing immigration lies and conspiracies on the campaign trail and its relationship to political violence and democratic legitimacy, noting: “Ken Cuccinelli, the author of the DHS section of the Project 2025 report and short-tenured acting DHS Secretary under the Trump administration, has been a key figure pushing the adoption of the invasion conspiracy, which is inexorably tied to the white nationalist and antisemitic replacement theory and the pattern of domestic terrorism racking the nation. We have tracked the increasingly widespread adoption of this rhetoric closely, seeing over 200 Facebook and 44 TV ads backed by an estimated $10 million in just these first four months of 2024 promoting the white nationalist invasion conspiracy.”

Angela Kelley, Senior Advisor, American Immigration Lawyers Association moderated the discussion and noted, “The roadmap for a second Trump term isn’t hard to follow nor is it in pencil. It’s in Sharpie and its consequences will cause indelible damage. Damage to the millions of American families that will be destroyed by deportation, to those fleeing violence who will face a sealed border, and to all citizens who’ll have to show papers or risk arrest. The Trump plan in action will throw sand into America’s economic engine and a dagger in the heart of America’s character. 

Additional Background and Resources

In a recent cover story interview in TIME, Donald Trump outlined a chilling view of his potential second term, including new details on his plans to rely on the military and law enforcement to conduct a mass purge and roundup of immigrants throughout America. 

Along with blueprints like the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 agenda, the scope of Trump’s immigration vision is sweeping and dangerous for immigrants and the rest of the nation and its economy, communities, and core American ideals. May 7 is the anniversary of Trump’s 2018 “zero tolerance” family separation policy and the Heritage Foundation plans to hold an event tomorrow, on May 7th, featuring Tom Homan, the intellectual “father” of the idea to separate migrant families as a deterrent. Homan went on to serve as acting ICE director under Trump and he will be joined at Heritage by allied lawmakers and anti-immigrant leaders.