President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he said. He did not offer specifics.
There are an estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.
Under a deal reached earlier this month, Mexico has agreed to take Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States until their cases are heard in U.S. courts.
The agreement, which included Mexico pledging to deploy National Guard troops to stop Central American immigrants from reaching the U.S. border, averted a Trump threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs.
Hundreds of migrants from central African countries, including the Republic of Congo, Angola and Cameroon have been apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol in the past month. Federal officials in Texas said that moe than 500 people from African countries were arrested in less than a week.
The latest arrest reports far exceed last year’s levels. For example, border agents arrested 45 Eritreans, 33 Somalians and no one from the Republic of Congo or Angola at the southern border over the course of fiscal year 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.