Millions of immigrants are now wondering if they should pack their bags

Feb 22, 2017, 8:29 AM | Updated: 8:56 am
In this photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arrest is made during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives. (ICE via AP)
(ICE via AP)

Millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States — even those who haven’t committed serious crimes — are now wondering if they should keep a bag packed.

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The president’s new immigration memo protects those immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Those being referred to as “Dreamers” will not be deported, unless they commit crimes.

As President Donald Trump has said many times, he has a big heart.

“They shouldn’t be very worried, I do have a big heart,” President Trump said.

But for everyone else who immigrated here without documents, it means the knock on the door could come at any moment.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer was asked about various cases of seemingly harmless people being deported, but he pointed out that if you don’t like the law, there’s a way to change it.

But until that happens, “the president is empowering [the Department of Homeland Security] to carry out the immigration laws currently on the books,” Spicer said.

Shawn Moran, an agent in San Diego and the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, says no one is trying to be nasty.

“I think border patrol agents are compassionate people,” he said. “You will be treated fairly. But if you’re going to break the laws of the United States there will be a consequence.”

The president’s memo means people who crossed the border illegally less than two years ago and those captured at the border can be returned immediately.

And it also directs the Department of Homeland Security to start planning for the new impermeable wall, although CBS’ Jeff Pegues says the DHS’ own internal watchdog isn’t sure the department is up to such a massive project.

Related: Seattle mayor says he is ready to sue feds over Trump’s orders

“Testifying before Congress, Inspector General John Roth said his review found a 2011 project to strengthen 53 miles of the Arizona border was canceled, but not before DHS spent about $1 billion dollars,” he reported.

That project was approved in 2005 by President Bush and would have used hi-tech sensors to monitor the border at a cost of $7 billion.

The current estimate for President Trump’s wall is $21 billion. But that doesn’t really matter because we won’t be paying for it.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Millions of immigrants are now wondering if they should pack their bags