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A New Policy Could Hurt Immigrant Parents

In the weeks since President Donald Trump took office, immigration raids have been occurring all across the nation. According to a press release from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 680 immigrants were arrested in the past week during these raids in 12 different states. But the news coming out of the Trump administration pertaining to immigration is going to become even more frustrating for advocates of humanitarian issues. According to BuzzFeed, the Trump administration is considering an immigration policy that could hurt parents who bring kids into the country, in addition to the already-sweeping bans and deportation orders already attempted.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration is "considering policies that would prosecute and deport" the parents that bring their children into the United States illegally. It's another exhausting development for both the parents and children — and could instill fear in many, or persuade them not to approach authorities if they witness or are victims of a crime. According to BuzzFeed, the policy would "adopt a hard line approach against undocumented immigrants, possibly widening the scope of who immigration officials deem a priority for deportation."

According to Mother Jones, following the 680 immigrant arrests in the past week, ICE is reportedly "casting a wider net," targeting "additional suspects." It is unclear exactly when any official policy could be introduced in an official capacity — according to The Wall Street Journal, the policy is still in the drafting phase for the moment.

As BuzzFeed reported, this policy would try to discourage parents immigrating with their children to the United States by "no longer considering them 'unaccompanied minors'" and would also tamp down on immigration from Central America from coming into the United States. Furthermore, according to The Spokesman-Review, hundreds of thousands of immigrants could be subjected to "expedited removal proceedings" and expedited removal because of this policy.

The Obama administration took steps into making sure that these children of illegal immigrants were protected through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA). The act, which was signed in 2012, allows those who were brought into the country while they were young to attend school and work, according to Reuters. On Wednesday, U.S. immigration authorities detained one of these DREAMers for the first time. Now Trump's policies could have a dire effect on those DREAMers, by allowing ICE officials to arrest or detain their parents — despite those same parents being temporarily protected from deportation in 2014, according to NPR.

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Trump's newest policy falls in line with his campaign promises. While campaigning for president in 2015, Trump claimed he wanted to end the "constitutionally protected citizenship of children of any family living illegally inside of the United States" and toughen deportation, according to The Boston Globe. In contrast, during an interview with ABC News last month, Trump stated that DREAMers "shouldn't be worried." Despite Trump's seeming shift in stance, those DREAMers are now not only worried for themselves, they're worried for their parents and their parents' statuses in the United States.

This new reported immigration policy could have a major affect on millions of immigrants and their children who are legally allowed to stay in this country. Whether it gets the official nod or not is yet to be seen.