Trump: I'm going to deport the "criminals" first

O.K., but who is a "criminal." If you have a misdemeanor driving without a license are you a criminal? Or, a misdemeanor littering? Or, are we talking about felons? He doesn't say, but he says there will be "zero tolerance."

Right now there is a Priority Enforcement Program policy of DHS. They are not going after undocumented aliens for minor traffic offenses or any misdemeanor conviction. The policy specifies which crimes make you a priority. The list includes any felony, any "aggravated felony"--which could be a misdemeanor, three misdemeanors other than minor traffic offenses and not arising out of the same incident, or a "significant misdemeanor" such as an offense of unlawful use or possession of a firearm, domestic violence offense, burglary, sexual abuse or exploitation, drug trafficking or distribution, a DUI, or a misdemeanor with a sentence of 90 days or more.

This list itself does not account for individual facts. What if the offense occurred 20 years old and the noncitizen has led an otherwise law abiding life, has a family, and is not a danger to public safety?

But, the far right Freedom Caucus and many Trump advisors would like Trump to revoke the Priority Enforcement Program. They argue that any undocumented person that ICE encounters should be subject to deportation. Furthermore, many in the far right believe that local police should be assisting ICE in deporting undocumented persons. If Trump revokes the Priority Enforcement Program regulation, this means that undocumented residents cited for even minor traffic violations could face deportation. Police Chiefs in many major cities say this is not the way to fight crime. We need the active participation and trust of all members of the community.

Let's hope saner heads prevail. But, if not, and deportations pick up, we are here to help. Many persons arrested can fight deportation. We are here to help.