Fault Lines

Undocumented in Trump’s America

A look at what it means to be undocumented in the US and how communities are fighting back against deportation.

The removal of undocumented immigrants from the US is at the centre of US President Donald Trump’s domestic agenda. Two executive orders signed five days after he took office signal a radically broad approach to immigration enforcement.

While deportations under the Obama administration reached record highs – just under half a million in 2016 according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security – it appears the Trump White House is determined to go further, and faster.

Who rips more families apart than any other system in the US or the world? Criminal justice ... We split families apart. That's what we do.

by A J Louderback, sheriff, Jackson County, Texas

President Trump has promised thousands of new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and border patrol agents in a bid to execute harsher punishments for immigration violations and facilitate deportations.

With local law enforcement threatened into proactive action within their own communities, immigrants have also mobilised to try and better understand their options and rights should ICE come knocking on their doors. 

Fault Lines’ Josh Rushing explores the shifting sands of deportation, speaking to families caught in the dragnet and communities determined to fight back.