Former President Trump plans what the New York Times calls an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he wins election next year, rounding up undocumented people already in the U.S. on a vast scale and detaining them in sprawling camps while they wait to be expelled. The plans would sharply restrict both legal and illegal immigration. Trump wants to revive his first-term border policies, including banning entry by people from some Muslim-majority nations and reimposing a COVID 19 policy of refusing asylum claims. This time he would base the refusal on assertions that migrants carry other infectious diseases like tuberculosis. He plans to scour the U.S. for unauthorized immigrants and deport people by the millions.
To speed mass deportations, Trump is preparing an enormous expansion of a removal type hat does not require due process hearings. To help Immigration and Customs Enforcement carry out sweeping raids, he plans to reassign other federal agents and deputize local police officers and National Guard soldiers contributed by Republican-run states. Trump wants to build huge camps to detain people while their cases are processed and they await deportation flights. To get around any refusal by Congress to appropriate funds, Trump would redirect money in the military budget, as he did in his first term to spend more on a border wall than Congress had authorized. Trump told a crowd in Iowa in September: “Following the Eisenhower model, we will carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” The reference was to a 1954 campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants that was named for an ethnic slur — “Operation Wetback.” Trump’s 2025 plans amount to an assault on immigration on a scale unseen in modern history. Millions of undocumented immigrants would be barred from the U.S. or uprooted from it years or even decades after settling here. That scale of planned removals would raise logistical, financial and diplomatic challenges and would be challenged in court.