Trump calls deportation push a 'military operation'

President Trump on Thursday called his effort to ramp up deportations a “military operation” aimed at ridding the U.S. of “really bad dudes.”

“We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country,” he said at a meeting with manufacturing CEOs. “And at a rate nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation.”

Trump is touting his administration’s new immigration enforcement policies, which could result in millions of deportations.

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The Department of Homeland Security guidelines vastly increase the number of immigrants who are considered priorities for deportation. They also direct law enforcement agencies to hire thousands of new agents to apprehend people living in the country illegally, with local police and sheriffs’ offices enlisted in the effort. 

The military, however, is not involved. The guidelines did not adopt a draft plan to enlist National Guard troops to help apprehend undocumented immigrants in nearly a dozen states. 

Trump officials have said the effort is aimed at deporting criminal undocumented immigrants.

“You see what’s happening at the border,” the president said. “All of the sudden, for the first time, we’re getting gang members out. We’re getting drug lords out.” 

“When you see gang violence and you’ve read about it like never before, all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally. And they’re tough and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people,” he continued. 

Under the administration's guidelines, any immigrant who is convicted, charged or suspected of a crime is considered a priority for removal.

That is a break from Obama administration policy, which focused on serious criminals, recent border crossers and suspected terrorists. 

The changes angered immigrant-rights groups, who said they could result in families being split apart and violations of due-process rights.