Locals React to President’s Message About Mass Deportations of Undocumented Immigrants

There is worry and fear among undocumented people in San Diego even though experts say mass deportation isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

Some San Diegans may fear the idea of a mass deportation of undocumented immigrants after a message from President Donald Trump but one retired Border Patrol agent told NBC 7 that type of action would be a tough plan to execute. 

According to a 2017 estimate from the Public Policy Institute of California, there are more than 170,000 undocumented immigrants in San Diego County.

Francisco Peralta and his brother are undocumented immigrants, brought to the U.S. from Mexico as children.

"He's been here for a very long time," Peralta said. "He has a beautiful family. He's been a really, really hard worker for many years."

Francisco has temporary protection from deportation through the policy known as DACA.

"Absolutely, it was a game changer," Peralta said.

His brother does not. So, for the past few years, his family's life has been, "a roller coaster from top to bottom," he said.

"Now he has to worry about the president Tweeting these outrageous things," he said. "About deporting 11 million people next week."

In a vague pre re-campaign launch post, the president wrote, "Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.

"Physically, logistically, practically, that's just not going to happen," retired U.S. Border Patrol agent Chris Harris said.

Millions of deportations in a short amount of time just isn't feasible, he adds.

For perspective, in 2018, ICE said it removed 256,000 undocumented immigrants in total.

"I think he gave himself an out, maybe deliberatly, maybe not," Harris said. "But he didn't give an end date. He just said 'We're just gonna do this.' So it might take them two years."

NBC News reports the plan will likely target about a million undocumented immigrants who already have deportation orders.

"That means you've been through the system, you've had your day in court, you've had any stays you've had your appeals but you haven't gone," Harris said.

That's something Harris supports.

"I think it makes sense to say I'm enforcing the rule of law," he said.

Though for Peralta, the nerves continue.

"It affects my family. It affects my community. It affects people across the country," he said.

And for more perspective, the San Diego area actually had the largeswt number of undocumented immigrant deportations in the entire country in 2018 according to ICE.

That number was about 27,000 people.

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