Donald Trump plans to carry out sweeping raids to round up undocumented migrants and put them in camps while they await deportation if he returns to the White House, according to reports.
The former US president is plotting a series of hardline migration policies if he wins a second term, which includes combing the country for millions of unauthorised people to expel.
Trump, 77, is also understood to be planning to bring back Title 42, a Covid-era ban on asylum applications, as well as blocking citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
His plans come as the US struggles to cope with record numbers of migrants crossing the southern border as they flee violence, political unrest and poverty.
Cities have been buckling under the pressure of the influx of people, with Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York and a Democrat, saying that the crisis will “destroy” the city.
Trump hinted at his plan during a September rally in Iowa in which he said he would bring in “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” along the lines of the “Eisenhower model”, a reference to a 1954 campaign to detain and expel Mexican immigrants.
Trump’s plans would include redeploying federal agents and deputising local police officers and National Guard soldiers to help find undocumented migrants, according to The New York Times.
Stephen Miller, who helped plan Trump’s first-term immigration policies, said that a second administration would introduce workplace raids and sweeps in public places to arrest migrants.
He said that Trump plans to build “vast holding facilities” near the Texas border “that would function as staging centres” for migrants waiting to be flown to other countries.
Miller also said that Trump would bring back Title 42, which allowed the US to expel migrants crossing the southern border without the right to seek asylum.
The public health policy was originally brought in during Covid but it expired in May, with President Joe Biden bringing in a series of immigration policies in its place to try to curb immigration.
Miller said that Trump would renew the controversial policy, citing “severe strains of the flu, tuberculosis, scabies” and other diseases.
Trump would also reportedly cancel the visas of foreign students who participated in anti-Israel protests.
Such policies will face a torrent of legal challenges, but with a Republican majority in the Supreme Court, Trump will be in a strong position to push through controversial measures.
Tom Homan, who ran the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration, said in a recent meeting with Trump that he would come back to “help to organise and run the largest deportation operation this country’s ever seen”.