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Trump's executive order on immigration could threaten some Detroit communities

Jan 26, 2017

Donald Trump's recent executive orders have people in some immigrant communities in Detroit worried.

Detroit has a large immigrant population, but President Trump's executive order to crack down on undocumented immigration means some families and communities could be separated.

Trump’s executive orders will increase efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the country’s southern border. He also wants to cut federal funding to so-called "sanctuary cities" for immigrants.

Michigan United, a statewide social justice group, held a press conference today with several community organizations to address concerns about these executive orders and other Trump has discussed signing in the near future.

“Despite these executive orders signed by Trump yesterday and those to come down the pipeline, we stand committed to defending and protecting all of our communities in the city of Detroit,” said Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, a councilwoman in Southwest Detroit.

Sergio Martinez, a Mexican-American immigrant and Michigan United Board member, thinks Detroit’s immigrants have it worse than many in other cities.

“We're really concerned because we are a border city, so a border community has a 100 mile radius where certain rules don't apply to protect people,” Martinez said.

Because Detroit is on an international border, immigrants can be targeted with stronger border patrol actions such as warrantless stops and searches.

While Detroit can be considered a sanctuary city because an anti-profiling ordinance bans police from asking about immigration status in most cases, its law enforcement agencies do cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan isn’t worried about losing federal funding, but did start a citywide municipal ID program that includes undocumented immigrants.

It is unclear if those immigrants  could be deported because of the program, but some efforts have been made to hide the physical address of people with city ID cards.