NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a speech on Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outlined his plan for reforming the U.S. immigration system.
The New York businessman has made immigration a central issue of his bid for the White House, taking a harder line than his Democratic rival, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Trump’s plan includes:
1. Building a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. Trump emphasized that this would be a physical wall, albeit bolstered by technology.
2. Ending “catch and release,” a term often broadly used to refer to practices under which not everyone apprehended by immigration agents is necessarily deported.
3. Immediate deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. Trump has promised to begin these deportations on his first day in office. Going forward, undocumented immigrants arrested for committing a crime would be placed into immediate deportation proceedings.
4. Blocking funding for “sanctuary cities,” places that limit, to differing extents and through different methods, how much they help immigration officials in the apprehension and deportation of undocumented immigrants.
5. Cancellation of executive orders and enforcement of immigration laws. This point would particularly hit two of President Barack Obama’s executive actions, known by their abbreviations: DACA and DAPA. The actions gave a certain legal status to certain undocumented immigrants, such as those brought to the United States as children or those who now have American children.
6. Suspending visas to immigrants from parts of the world where screening procedures are deemed inadequate. Trump singled out Syria and Libya as two countries from which immigration would be suspended.
7. Ensuring that other countries take back their citizens when the United States moves to deport those immigrants. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that these people cannot be detained indefinitely, but without a country to which to return they often are simply released from detention. Trump said he would force the immigrants’ home countries to take them back.
8. Completing a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system. Many undocumented immigrants enter the country legally, and then overstay their visas. In those cases, this kind of system would be more effective than a border wall. While such a system has been discussed for years, the logistics remain a major challenge. Putting in such a system would likely require major overhauls of U.S. points of entry, such as airports and ports.
9. Making it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs and benefits. Trump specifically cited the E-verify system as part of this. That system allows employers to check whether their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. Trump also mentioned ending access to benefit programs such as public housing or food stamps.
10. Serving the best interests of American workers. Trump’s final point serves as something of a catch-all for his immigration proposal. But he also mentioned a few specific goals here, such as limiting immigration. He also talked about being more selective about who gets to enter the country, for example limiting immigration to people who can be financially self-sufficient.
Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Jonathan Oatis