The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday announced an outline of its plans to oppose former President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda if he’s elected in November.

The ACLU plans to use a combination of legal challenges, lobbying and coordination with liberal officials to obstruct Trump’s plans to reduce illegal immigration, which they characterize as both unethical and illegal, according to a memo released by the organization. During Trump’s first term, the ACLU helped to block several of the former president’s moves regarding immigration, such as his attempt to weaken the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“If given a second term, Donald Trump promises to decimate American communities by targeting immigrants who are already contributing members of society and blocking new immigrants from coming lawfully to the United States,” the memo states. The ACLU goes on to claim that Trump will seek mass deportations, attack birthright citizenship, try to restrict illegal immigrants from accessing public services, separate children from their families and “attack human rights at the border.”

“Litigation will be a critical component” of the ACLU’s planned response to a potential second Trump administration, according to the memo.

If Trump attempted to arrest large numbers of illegal aliens in service of mass deportations, for instance, the ACLU would take the administration to court for violating the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures due to racial profiling. Programs like those proposed by Trump “result in racial profiling, suspicionless interrogations and arrests, unjustified and pretextual traffic stops, and warrantless searches of workplaces and homes—all of which violate the Constitution,” according to the ACLU.

The legal nonprofit is also prepared to fight Trump’s detainment of illegal immigrants by arguing that it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees against arbitrary or punitive civil detention.

“An across-the-board policy refusing to release anyone swept up by the machine pending their removal would violate Fifth Amendment,” the memo states. “The Supreme Court has recognized that even noncitizens who have no ‘legal right to live at large in this country’ have a liberty interest in ‘freedom from imprisonment’,” it continues.

“Trump’s threatened actions on immigration run counter to protections in the Constitution and statutes enacted by Congress. And we will make him answer for his lawlessness in the courts,” the ACLU asserts.


The ACLU plans to “work with coalition partners” in Congress to leverage the budget process to impede Trump’s deportation plans. Congress acting to limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s removal operations budget is one example the ACLU offers for using appropriations to make deporting illegal immigrants more difficult.

The ACLU will also deploy lobbyists to Congress to advocate for limiting where Customs and Border Protection agents can operate.

At the state levelthe ACLU will urge states to deny federal authorities access to law enforcement resources, encourage governors to pardon criminal illegal aliens to prevent them from being deported, lobby state legislatures to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and ask states to pay the legal fees of illegal immigrants facing deportation.

The ACLU joins a list of groups, including Protect Democracy, the Institution for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University and Democracy Forward in preparing strategies to obstruct a potential second Trump administration. The Biden administration appears concerned about the possibility of a second Trump term, taking measures to protect the jobs of bureaucrats amid the former president’s plans to restructure the administrative state.

Trump’s proposed border actions are relatively popular, with 51% of Americans, including 45% of Latinos, supporting the mass deportation of illegal immigrants, according to an Axios poll released in April. A May poll from Decision Desk HQ/News Nation found that 46% of voters prefer Trump to handle the border, compared to just 26% who think Biden would do a better job.

The presidential race is close, with Trump just half a point ahead of Biden as of Thursday in RealClearPolitics’ polling average. Trump has, in recent months, been leading in polls of battleground states, though some recent polls show Biden beginning to close the gap with Trump in some key states.

The ACLU is also suing Biden over his recent executive order restricting asylum claims at the border, Axios reported.

The ACLU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

(Visited 657 times, 4 visits today)