08:44 GMT13 April 2021
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    US President Donald Trump announced Monday that, beginning next week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency would begin detaining and deporting undocumented individuals across the country. This, coupled with Trump’s plan to stop aid to Central America, could be the precursor to a vicious cycle – particularly in terms of healthcare.

    On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that Trump’s mass deportation announcement not only took civilians by surprise, but the US president also blindsided officials in the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a part.

    “US officials with knowledge of the preparations have said in recent days that the operation was not imminent, and ICE officials said late Monday night that they were not aware that the president planned to divulge their enforcement plans on Twitter,” the Post reported.

    Speaking on Trump’s recent Twitter flex, the hosts of Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary were joined on Tuesday by La Clínica del Pueblo’s Advocacy Coordinator Jose Leandro and Rodrigo Stein, the organization’s health promotion manager.

    “Right now what you see is the result of foreign policy decisions and also local decisions that have forced people out and exacerbated local violence and state violence,” Stein pointed out to hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon, adding that circumstances “left people with no option but to migrate” in many cases.

    Despite being labeled “illegal” by the US president, undocumented immigrants fund the US economy with an estimated $11.6 billion per year in taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy's 2016 report.

    Even while paying taxes, Leandro points out these individuals are forced to rely on locally funded programs such as Washington, DC’s Healthcare Alliance program, which have short periods of coverage before one needs to re-enroll.

    “One component that La Clinica continually tries to drive through is to understand immigration as a social determinant of health,” Stein noted, urging that the issue of health be seen through “transnational” lens.

    While the nation waits to see what becomes of Trump’s Twitter threat toward undocumented people, Leandro urged those who want to see change to get involved by talking to the their local policymakers and to join national partners in commenting on issues such as the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, for which the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed altering its enforcement to restrict federal housing aid to undocumented immigrants.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Central America, deportation, deportation, ICE, DHS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), immigration, Donald Trump
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