Trump says local police will be key to mass deportations if he's reelected

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Former President Trump on Thursday said local police officers would be they key piece of his second-term proposal to mass deport immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

“We have to deport a lot of people, and they have to start immediately,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview from Eagle Pass, Texas, near the southern border.

“We have no choice, and the way you do it is your local police,” he added.

Trump bemoaned the treatment of law enforcement and vowed to give police officers immunity so they can pursue illegal immigrants. He suggested it was local police who know where to find migrants who should be deported.

“It’s going to be the local police are going to turn them over, and we’re going to have to move them back to their country,” Trump said.

Trump has pledged if he is reelected that he would carry out the largest deportation operation in decades to remove immigrants who crossed the border illegally. He has repeatedly cited the Eisenhower administration’s deportation efforts, through a program known as “Operation Wetback” that used military tactics to round up migrants.

The Biden campaign has called the proposal “racist, un-American, and ineffective.”

The former president spent much of his first term trying to crack down on illegal immigration, pushing for construction of a wall along the southern border, implementing the Remain in Mexico policy and overseeing a family separation policy that was eventually halted in the face of bipartisan criticism.

Trump has again made immigration central to his campaign as he seeks the presidency in November. He visited the border on Thursday, where he met with local law enforcement and state Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and blamed the surge of migrants and recent high-profile violence involving migrants on President Biden’s policies.

Biden also visited the border on Thursday, traveling to Brownsville, Texas, to meet with Border Patrol agents and urge Republican lawmakers to pass a bipartisan Senate proposal to enhance border security.

“We need to act. It’s time for the speaker and some of my Republican friends in Congress who are blocking this bill to show a little spine,” Biden said.

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