President Trump said Friday that undocumented immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children should “rest easy” and not fear deportation under his administration’s efforts to ramp up immigration enforcement.
The president told The Associated Press in an interview that his calls to crack down on illegal immigration are focused primarily on removing criminals from the U.S. and are not geared toward the so-called Dreamers.
Trump’s comments came on the heels of a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleging that a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country, was deported to Mexico.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the individual, 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes, had originally left the country on his own. Montes said he was forced out.
Trump said that the case is “a little different than the Dreamer case,” though he did not specify what he meant by that or how it was different.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to take a hard line on illegal immigration, vowing to expand the number of immigration enforcement agents and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stymie the flow of immigrants into the country.