Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says he is uncertain about the exact number of undocumented immigrants currently living in the US, and that the figure could be higher than the 11 or 12 million generally estimated.
Homan notes that however many undocumented immigrants there are, they all now face deportation under the executive orders issued by President Donald Trump, except for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Barack Obama in 2012. Speaking at an interview on Tuesday, Homan echoed his comments at a recent White House press briefing, noting that officers can now enforce existing laws because of Trump’s executive order. This means that almost no undocumented immigrants are now exempt from deportation.
Homan says that he has seen the studies and reports claiming that the number of undocumented immigrants in the US is around 12 million. But, he thinks the government needs to examine the situation more deeply, as, in his view, it is more than likely that the figure is much higher.
During the Presidential election last year, Donald Trump claimed the US government had no real idea how many undocumented immigrants were in the country, speculating the figure could be as high as 30 million. Homan says that the fall in the number of undocumented immigrants apprehended at the US border under the Trump administration is directly related to the executive orders and policies of the current President.