Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) questioned who federal immigration officials are allowed to deport if not illegal aliens who have already been ordered deported by an immigration judge.
Last week, President Trump backed down on a plan to deport about 2,000 illegal alien families that have been ordered deported by immigration judges, saying he would use the effort as a bargaining tool in talks with Democrats to pass legislation that reforms the country’s asylum laws.
During an interview with Fox News Sunday‘s Chris Wallace, Cotton asked if the U.S. cannot deport even illegal aliens with final deportation orders, who can be deported?
The exchange went as follows:
WALLACE: President Trump has also delayed a round-up that was supposed to begin today of migrant families that have already been given their deportation orders. [Trump] says he’s giving Congress two weeks to work out, to reform the asylum system, otherwise, he’ll impose the round-up. I don’t have to tell you, you have a little bit of a look on your face. The likelihood … you talk about healthy skepticism, Congress isn’t going to reform the asylum system in two weeks, sir. [Emphasis added]
COTTON: So Chris I was just going to say healthy skepticism is warranted when you’re dealing with Democrats on immigration. Let’s just think about the Democrats’ position here Chris. These are people who have claimed asylum in our country, they’ve had their day in court, they’ve had their claims rejected and now they face a valid and final order of removal. If we can’t deport people like that, who can we deport? That’s why the Democrats’ position ultimately comes back to, in essence, open borders. [Emphasis added]
WALLACE: So what do you think of the president’s decision to hold off on the round-up of these people who should be deported? [Emphasis added]
COTTON: Two weeks for a couple of thousand families is not going to make a big difference. And if we could get a … genuine law passed through Congress that would address the asylum reforms that we need to stop the crisis at the border, that would be a good thing.
But, again, I go back to this point: If you can’t deport an illegal alien who has a valid and final order for removal that’s adjudicated by an immigration judge, who can you deport? [Emphasis added]
As Breitbart News’s Neil Munro reported, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) plan to trade amnesty for illegal aliens in exchange for asylum reforms has gotten a boost from Trump’s delaying the deportation plan.
Currently, there are more than 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico who have deportation orders or pending deportation orders that have yet to be deported from the U.S. This includes nearly 645,000 illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico who have final orders for deportation and about 1.1 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico with pending deportation orders.