0624 GMT February 17, 2020
In a pair of tweets Monday night, Trump said that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” AP reported.
“They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he wrote.
An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than one million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president’s tweets.
It is unusual for law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump’s administration believe that decisive shows of force — like mass arrests — can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the US that it’s not worth coming.
Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its National Guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.