WSW: Flipping The Switch On Immigration

Jan 23, 2017

Protesters build a wall of signs outside the White House for the Women's March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump's presidency, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington.
Credit John Minchillo, Associated Press / AP

Susan Reed says it won’t take long to change immigration policy in the United States. The Managing Attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center in Kalamazoo says “the deportation machine is already built.” 

As the Trump administration takes office after a campaign promising tougher immigration enforcement, Reed spoke with WMUK’s Gordon Evans about what that could mean. Reed says the changes can happen quickly because new legislation isn’t needed. During his time in office, President Barack Obama issued a series of executive orders that relaxed deportation of some undocumented people depending on circumstances. Reed will discuss immigration at an event Thursday at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Asked about working for immigrant rights after a campaign that includes calls for building a wall along the Mexican border, Reed says it doesn’t change the way MIRC interacts with clients. She says “the most optimistic part of me” hears that people who voted for the President did not necessarily agree with everything he said.

Reed says she knows more families will be separated from each other with stricter enforcement. She says during the Obama administration there was a focus on deporting people with criminal convictions. But Reed says there were still many non-criminals deported during the last eight years. She says stricter enforcement will mean deportations.