The Trump administration announced this week more specifics on how they would implement the president’s recent executive orders to crack down on undocumented immigrants living in the United States, cloaking the new guidelines in the sparkly gift wrap of national security and keeping Americans safe. But as everything else branded “Trump,” the reasoning behind these actions is woefully misguided if not downright false.  

In other words, Trump’s actions are based on outright lies.  


Trump started his successful campaign in June 2015 demonizing immigrants, and kept fueling hatred for “illegals” every chance he got at every rally possible. He would bring to these rallies the parents of victims killed by undocumented criminals, as a reason he would “crack down” and “be tough” on our “out of control immigration situation” if elected president of the United States.  


The fear-mongering worked. Trump won by an overwhelming margin among those voters for whom immigration was a priority issue.  

But as much as the Trump White House is allergic to facts and truth, it is time to look at the facts and discern the truth for most Americans — the majority of whom do not support Trump, and still believe that we need to find a humane way to deal with undocumented immigrants.

The majority of Americans understand that most undocumented persons have been here for years and that we should find a way for them to get right with the law, pay fines, ensure they know English, come out of the shadows and increase their economic contributions to the country they have helped build (if Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE had had a spine, we would have fixed this problem years ago by passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform which did this exact thing.)

Now for some facts:

Illegal immigration from Mexico through our southern border is net negative and has been so for the past several years.  

The majority of those apprehended at the southern border are women and children fleeing domestic and gang violence in Central America. And they are mostly not apprehended because they willingly turn themselves into Border Patrol and Customs agents in the hopes they can seek asylum here.  

Crime in the cities at our Southern border is at an all-time low. The images of a border region rampant with crime where greasy brown men are gallivanting about looking for young gringo women to do with as they please is the epitome of scapegoating. And it is a downright lie — like most things that come out of Trump’s mouth.

Do we need to make sure that criminals — whether here legally or not — are dealt with swiftly and to the fullest extent of the law? Of course we do.  

Which brings me to another important fact. Native born Americans are much more prone to commit a crime and to harm another American than immigrants are.  

This fact is not an excuse for any undocumented criminal to go and commit a crime. The parents of the victims who Trump parades at his rallies are right to be outraged. Those criminals who took their loved ones away from them should not have been here and should be punished.  

But that does not mean we should green light a full on “Deportation Force” which is what Trump talked about during 18 months of his campaign and which he is starting to implement.  

The new guidelines announced by DHS ensure millions more undocumented immigrants will be targeted for deportation.  

This means mothers, grandmothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who are simply here trying to feed their families, many of whom have been here for years and have raised children and contributed to their communities.  

The new guidelines call for the hiring of thousands of new ICE agents and it also calls for deputizing local law enforcement to act as immigration officials.

This means that many local crimes will go unreported for fear of immediate deportation by a community police officer if the person reporting the crime — even if they are the victim — is an undocumented immigrant.  

The new guidelines call for the targeting of undocumented immigrants not just 100 miles from the border or less but all over the country.

This means no one is safe from deportation even if you have been here for 30 years, have raised a family, do not know your own home country anymore and have worked, paid taxes, and have lived peacefully in the community you have called home for decades.  

This is not humane. This is not national security. This is not safety. This is the beginning of mass deportations that will leave a stain on this country, on the Trump administration and on the Republican Party for years to come.  

At least the Trump administration has said they are not targeting Dreamers. For now. But maybe tomorrow they will, especially because their base will be outraged that Dreamers will be initially spared.

Turns out Anne Coulter was right. We can say “Adios America.” With Trump as president, we are saying goodbye to the shining city on a hill that welcomed all who yearned to work hard, have a future, live brave and be free.  

And the most pathetic thing about all of this is that these actions, purportedly taken by a president who was voted into office precisely because he promised them, are all based on lies, falsehoods, fake news, and a misguided sense of blaming society’s woes on those vulnerable immigrants who don’t look like Americans, don’t sound like Americans, and are being shunned from the “American” way of life.  

The reality is, many of them know, love and understand America, its ideals, the idea, its values, what it values, and just how precious a commodity it is, more than many of those people clamoring for the deportation of these individuals who have done nothing but help make this country great.   

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.