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Trump order has led to more people in detention. Immigration lawyer: Is it worth the moral cost?

Feb 10, 2017

There is another executive order on immigration issued by President Donald Trump, beyond the travel ban of seven majority-Muslim countries.

This executive order gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) broader discretion to arrest undocumented immigrants. The result has been a quick uptick in arrests, more people in detention centers, and an immigrant community that is more fearful of being deported.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that gives U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) broader discretion to arrest undocumented immigrants.
Credit PROFESSOR KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

According to the New York Times, this order stipulates "that undocumented immigrants convicted of any criminal offense – and even those who have not been charged but are believed to have committed 'acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense' – have become a priority for deportation."

Immigration lawyer Brad Maze joined Stateside to talk about the executive order and the concerns it raises.

"This [executive order] gives unfettered power to immigration and customs enforcement to essentially be the judge, jury and executioner when they come across someone who may be illegal, and to search out those people who are regular citizens who are contributing to our community and who are just caught up in the fray of these executive orders," Maze said.

One of Maze's clients was arrested after failing to provide proper documentation while riding as a passenger in a vehicle on his way to work. The man has been living in the United States for 27 years, has no criminal record and has a wife and four U.S.-born children.

"This is really affecting us in a social and economic way," Maze said. "Really, we have to ask ourselves, 'Is it worth the moral cost to just go out and arrest people and suddenly become like we are kind of a police state?"
 

Listen to the full interview above to hear the son of Maze's client, who also joined Stateside, talk about how he's helping his family cope with an uncertain future as they wait to see if their father will be deported.

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