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PolitiFact Sheet: Donald Trump’s immigration plan

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde November 9, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s tough stance against illegal immigration and pledge to enforce immigration laws became one of his most powerful rallying cries during his campaign for the White House.

Trump supporters cheered him on as he vowed to end President Barack Obama’s plans to shield from deportation millions of undocumented immigrants, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and to temporarily suspend immigration from areas with "a proven history of terrorism" against the United States, Europe or allies.

Trump has also called for "extreme vetting" and an "ideological" screening of people who want to come to the United States, to make sure they share America's values.

Here’s a recap of Trump’s 10-point immigration plan:

1. Build an "impenetrable physical wall on the southern border" that he says Mexico will pay for.

2. End "catch-and-release." If anyone is caught illegally crossing the border, that person will be detained until deported.

3. Deport immigrants in the country illegally convicted of crimes.

4. End sanctuary cities (cities where local law enforcement officers aren’t required to alert federal authorities to people in the country illegally).

5. End Obama’s executive actions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and triple the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

6. Suspend issuance of visas to people in places where "adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place."

7. Make sure countries take back their own citizens when the United State orders them deported.

8. Fully implement at all land, air and sea ports a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.

9. "Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet" that attract immigrants who come to the United States illegally.

10. Reform legal immigration and keep it "within historic norms," to serve the best interests of America and its workers.

Whether Trump will actually follow through on these pledges remains to be seen, said Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School.

"Some actions, like reversing President Obama’s immigration executive actions, can be done unilaterally," Yale-Loehr said. "Others, like building a wall and strengthening border security, will require Congress to change current law or to agree to spend the billions of dollars such proposals will require."

Some of Trump’s more controversial proposals like the creation of a new ideological test for admission to the United States "that would assess an immigrant’s stances on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights, would surely provoke constitutional challenges in the courts," Yale-Loehr said.

Trump is expected to be sworn into office Jan. 20, 2017. His administration will work with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

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Our Sources

Donald Trump campaign website, Immigration

The White House, FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action, Nov. 20, 2014

Email exchange, Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School, Nov. 9, 2016

Cato Institute, President Trump’s Immigration Plans, Nov. 9, 2016, Guide to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

PolitiFact, Statements about Immigration

PolitiFact, How Trump plans to build, and pay for, a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, July 26, 2016

NPR,Trump Calls To Ban Immigration From Countries With 'Proven History Of Terrorism’, June 13, 2016

The Washington Post, Donald Trump calls for ‘extreme vetting’ of people looking to come to the United States, Aug. 15, 2016

CBS News, Donald Trump calls for "extreme" ideological screening test for new immigrants, Aug. 15, 2016

PolitiFact, Fact-checking Donald Trump's immigration speech in Phoenix, Sept. 1, 2016

PolitiFact, Ted Cruz: Obama administration released 104,000 'criminal illegal aliens' including 196 murderers, Aug. 28, 2015

PolitiFact, Trump: Nearly '180,000 illegal immigrants' have criminal records but haven't been deported, July 22, 2016

PolitiFact, Trump says Florida had five 'sanctuary cities' when Jeb Bush was governor, July 15, 2016

PolitiFact, Pro-Clinton Super PAC says Trump wants to deport millions, including 'Dreamers’, Nov. 1, 2016

PolitiFact, Federal judge called Obama immigration action 'unconstitutional,' David Jolly says, March 5, 2016

PolitiFact, Donald Trump says ICE endorsed him, Oct. 10, 2016

PolitiFact, Wrong: Donald Trump says there's 'no system to vet' refugees, June 13, 2016

PolitiFact, Mostly True: Donald Trump says 23 countries refuse to take back their natives from America, Sept. 1, 2016

PolitiFact, Mike Pence says 'no effort' made against visa overstays, Sept. 12, 2016

PolitiFact, Donald Trump repeats Pants on Fire claim about '30 million' illegal immigrants, Sept. 1, 2016

PolitiFact, Trump says U.S. admits 100,000 "permanent immigrants" annually from Middle East, Aug. 19, 2016

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PolitiFact Sheet: Donald Trump’s immigration plan