Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids


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According to Marshall Fitz, a prominent immigration advocate and former advisor to the Obama White House, Trump's ICE raids are cruel and unnecessary, will not fix the real problems in our immigration system, and are profoundly out of step with the wishes of the American people.

He also has said that while the American people may not agree with Trump's immigration policies, they know what his policies are. But the same cannot be said for the Democrats, and research indicates that they will need to propose realistic immigration reforms if they want to remove Trump from the White House in the upcoming election.

I disagree with Marshall's comments about Trump's ICE raid. To my knowledge, ICE is just going to arrest aliens who appear to be in one of the classes of deportable aliens described in Section 1227 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This includes 2,000 families that are subject to final deportation orders.

If those statutory provisions are cruel and unnecessary or out of step with the wishes of the American people, the blame lies with our elected representatives in Congress who wrote and passed the provisions, not with ICE — or with Trump either, for that matter.

I agree, however, with Marshall's point that the Democrats need to do more than just oppose what Trump is doing, which will not be easy for them. They have gotten into the habit of relying on ad hominem responses instead of addressing the merits of his positions.

The Democrats are creating problems by opposing interior enforcement that is not limited to criminal aliens.


The Republicans won't support a legalization program until illegal immigration is under control — and that can't happen without unrestricted interior enforcement.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) established a legalization program that granted lawful status to millions of undocumented aliens.

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @NolanR1