Donald Trump says US will begin deporting millions
The move may galvanise his supporters for his re-election campaign
US President Donald Trump is threatening to deport millions of illegal residents in a plan that will help to energise supporters before the announcement of his re-election bid.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will next week “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States", Mr Trump tweeted on Monday night.
“They will be removed as fast as they come in."
An administration official said the targets were more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but were still at large in the US.
Other officials said the operation was not imminent and that immigration officials were not aware that Mr Trump would make sensitive law enforcement plans public.
It is unusual for law-enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place.
Some in the administration believe shows of force such as mass arrests could be effective deterrents, telling those considering an attempt at illegal migration that it was not worth the effort.
Mark Morgan, the acting head of the immigration department, said this month that action including deportation of families was coming, and that it would be done humanely.
Mr Trump has threatened to use increasingly drastic measures as he tries to stop Central American migrants crossing the southern border, the numbers of which have risen significantly in his term.
He recently dropped a threat to impose tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to send its national guard and increase co-ordination and enforcement of immigration laws.
A senior Mexican official said on Monday that three weeks ago, about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the US border each day. That has dropped to about 2,600.
Immigration was central to Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign and he is expected to use it to fire up his base for the 2020 campaign.
The president launched his re-election bid on Tuesday night at a rally in Orlando, Florida – a state that is crucial to his chances of a second term.
Updated: June 19, 2019 01:12 PM