04:49 GMT19 February 2020
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    US House of Representatives Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley said that while both parties want America to have a reasonable immigration system, the Trump plan "will only make our country less safe and move us further from our value systems."

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US House of Representatives Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley strongly denounced President Donald Trump’s changes to American immigration policy on Tuesday, calling them "a step towards mass deportations" that will threaten national security.

    "The Trump Administration’s latest immigration proposal is clearly a step towards mass deportation – actions that will make our country less secure and erodes our judicial process by allowing for fast-tracked deportations, regardless of circumstances," Crowley said in a statement.

    Crowley said that while both parties want America to have a reasonable immigration system, the Trump plan "will only make our country less safe and move us further from our value systems."

    The changes announced Tuesday would give front-line immigration and customs officials broad authority to determine whether an illegal immigrant is eligible for expedited removal if the immigrant is charged with a crime, or the officer has reasons to believe the immigrant could be charged with a crime.

    Other policy changes include enlisting state and local law enforcement to aid in enforcing immigration laws. Many governors and mayors of so-called "sanctuary cities" have pledged to resist the changes because using state and local police makes immigrants less likely to report crimes or cooperate as witnesses.

    Trump’s new policy vastly increases the number of illegal immigrants eligible for deportation. Democrats and immigration activists say the changes amount to establishment of the "deportation force" Trump promised supporters during the 2016 presidential election.

    But during a press briefing on Tuesday White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the changes amounted to such a force, and said the policy of the United States remained focused on expelling immigrants who had committed serious crimes.


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