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Trump Claims ICE Will Deport ‘Millions’ in the Coming Weeks. Is That Even Possible?

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested hundreds in Florida and Puerto Rico in March of 2018.

Around 9 p.m. on Monday night, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would begin deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants. The pronouncement—in which Trump claimed that ICE would begin mass raids next week—was peculiar: ICE operations have never been announced in advance. According to the Washington Post, the president’s tweets caught ICE agents off-guard.

Experts immediately questioned the feasibility of an operation to remove millions of people. In the entire year of 2012—the year that holds the record for total ICE deportations—only 409,849 people were deported.

While the reality of such an operation remains in question, one future event is certain: On Tuesday, Trump will officially kick off his 2020 election campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida. Commentators quickly drew a connection between Trump‘s tweet and his favored strategy of using anti-immigration rhetoric in his campaign’s messaging.

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