Project 2025: Trump’s immigration dream, a humanitarian nightmare for the US

This month of May marks the anniversaries of various measures and events with one common denominator — they are the product and consequence of extreme migration policies based in xenophobia, as well as the virulent rhetoric that characterizes the discourse about these very same issues.

May 7th marked six years since the officialization of the nasty Zero Tolerance policy, in 2018, which separated families at the border and literally tore children from their mothers’ and fathers’ arms. Its impact remains. That year, Jeff Sessions, then Attorney General under Donald Trump, justified the public policy by citing Romans 13 in the New Testament, affirming that laws have to be obeyed because, “God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Romans 13 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

God therefore, according to Sessions, would condone family separation. The same Romans 13 includes the advice to “love your neighbor as yourself” but, for Republicans, this does not seem to apply to immigrants.

May 11th marks one year since the expiration of Title 42, implemented by Trump in the middle of the pandemic to expel migrants, including people seeking asylum, in an expedited fashion under the guise of public health. Its real intention was to undermine asylum laws and, in the process, generate chaos at the border and in the interior of the country, with still latent humanitarian, economic, and political repercussions.

And May 14th will mark two years since the Buffalo, New York massacre where Peyton Gendron, an unstable person influenced by white supremacist rhetoric and a believer in the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory — which says that minorities want to replace white people and remove them from political power — killed ten people and wounded three. Eleven of his victims were African American.

The worst thing about all of this is that the elements and rhetoric that contributed to implementing these policies have had deadly effects, not only in Buffalo but in other massacres motivated by racial hate in El Paso and Pittsburgh, and have only intensified this electoral cycle. Republican presidential hopeful Trump has already laid out his plans to revive these policies, as well as the loopholes he will use to guarantee their implementation, in the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025, an action plan that details the policies a second Trump administration would implement on immigration and other matters.

On immigration issues, the central piece is a campaign of mass deportations — the largest in United States history, according to the former president. This would mean enormous detention camps and enormous violations of civil rights, since no one has a symbol indicating whether he is a citizen, resident, or undocumented immigrant tattooed on his forehead.

For David Bier, Director of Immigration Studies at the Cato Institute, the tip of the spear of Project 2025 on immigration is “mass deportation, is blocking legal immigration by every means possible.” At a panel discussion about Project 2025, organized by America’s Voice, Bier indicated that this deportation campaign did not materialize in Trump’s first term “because Congress held them in check.” “But now they have this loophole, and the loophole that they have settled on is using the military and using state and local law enforcement to do the work for them, and to deport people from the United States without due process,” affirmed Bier.

That would also be devastating for the economy.

“The impact is huge because a 100 percent of labor force growth right now is coming from immigrants…. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this recent surge in immigration is going to increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by $7 trillion dollars over the next decade. It’s gonna increase tax revenues by a trillion dollars,” he added.

Angela Kelley, an immigration expert and Senior Advisor to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said, on the same panel, that the damage of a second Trump administration would be indelible. “Damage to the millions of American families that will be destroyed by deportation, to those fleeing violence who will face a sealed border, and to all citizens who’ll have to show papers or risk arrest. The Trump plan in action will throw sand into America’s economic engine and a dagger in the heart of America’s character. “

Trump’s mass deportation dream is a humanitarian and economic nightmare for the United States.


  • Maribel Hastings

    Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor and columnist at America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund. A native of Puerto Rico, Maribel is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a major in public communications and a history minor. She worked for La Opinión, and became La Opinión’s first Washington, D.C. correspondent in 1993. Maribel has received numerous awards, including the 2007 Media Leadership Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for her coverage of the immigration debate in the U.S. Senate.

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