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Trump vows to use law to deport suspected foreign gang members, drug traffickers

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if re-elected, he would “immediately” invoke a federal law granting him unilateral authority to detain and deport noncitizens over the age of 14 years old.

In his remarks during a campaign stop, Trump pledged to use the Alien Enemies Act – part of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 – to target suspected gang members, drug dealers and of cartels.

“I will…immediately invoke the Alien Enemies Act to eliminate all known or suspected gang members…drug traffickers, cartel members from the United States, thereby ending once and for all the scourge of violence from illegal alien gangs,” Trump said. from a campaign stage here in front of more than 1,000 supporters.

Trump presented his proposal in a speech intended to outline what would constitute his second-term immigration policy — a policy that foreshadows a greater use of executive powers and law enforcement resources than the president could have a greater share in the direction.

He also told the crowd that he would also reinstate and “expand” the “travel ban” he implemented during his first term in the White House. The ban, which President Joe Biden ended on his first day in office, barred most individuals from seven countries – including five predominantly Muslim countries – from entering the United States.

The Foreign Enemies Act – intended to be a war measure – was notably used during World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt invoked it following the bombing of Pearl Harbor to order government observation and detention of thousands of Japanese, German and Italian nationals.

The law states that a president can order noncitizens “to be apprehended, detained, secured, and deported as enemy aliens” when he “publicly proclaims” that an “invasion or predatory incursion is being perpetrated, attempted or threatened against the country. territory of the United States by any foreign nation.

A number of Democratic senators and civil rights groups have pushed for repeal of the Foreign Enemies Act.

On Wednesday, Trump said he would expand his travel ban to “deny entry to the United States to all communists and Marxists.” The Republican front-runner provided no details or parameters for such a proposal.

Trump also promised to move thousands of troops currently stationed overseas to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We guard other people’s borders, but we don’t guard our own,” Trump said.

He further claimed that a new Trump administration would shift “massive portions” of federal law enforcement — including the FBI, DEA and ATF — to immigration enforcement roles.

Trump also said he would direct the Navy to establish blockades to ensure fentanyl does not enter the country through waterways.


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