President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his administration’s enforcement of its deportation policy is “a military operation.”
“All of a sudden for the first time we’re getting gang members out, we’re getting drug lords out, we’re getting really bad dudes out of this country,” Trump said during a listening session with manufacturing CEOs. “And it’s a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country.”
He said that deportations are taking place “at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before, and they’re the bad ones.”
“You see what’s happening at the border,” Trump said. “When you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before, and all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally. And they’re rough, and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people, so we’re getting them out.”
Memos from the Department of Homeland Security released on Tuesday contained new guidelines calling for immigrants to be deported if they are convicted, charged or suspected of a “chargeable criminal offense.”
Those guidelines greatly expanded the number of people living in the United States illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, though White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied that mass deportation was a goal.