Media Contact

January 25, 2017


PHOENIX—President Trump today signed executive orders authorizing funding for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, dramatically ramping up immigration detention, and threatening to defund cities and states that protect people’s rights without regard to immigration status.

Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, had this reaction to Trump’s border plan:

“Southern Arizona is already overrun with federal agents who routinely abuse their power, a problem we have documented over and over. The American people deserve commonsense border policies that uphold the dignity of border residents and emphasize transparency, accountability, and oversight for Border Patrol. Expanding the size and power of security forces in the border areas will only further erode the freedoms and rights of the people who call southern Arizona home."

On Trump’s plan to re-institute 287(g) and other immigration-related programs:

“This is the same failed approach that we experienced back in 2007, when Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies and posse members were deputized by the federal government to enforce immigration laws. Although Sheriff Arpaio was ultimately voted out of office because of these practices, many, many people suffered tremendous harm during this dark period in our history.

“The hard lesson learned from Arizona’s obsession with interior immigration enforcement is that it’s bad for business, costly, and inevitably results in abuse like racial profiling.”

On Trump’s restrictive sanctuary cities order, Soler said:

“In Arizona, cities and towns are in the best position to determine the needs of the communities they serve and a growing number of them are starting to realize that prioritizing immigration enforcement over public safety  means that fewer people will voluntary interact with police, which only makes our communities less safe.”

ACLU Nationwide provided legal analysis of the anti-immigration proposals touted by then-candidate Trump. It concluded those proposals were illegal, unconstitutional, and could lead to mass violations of civil liberties and rights. That analysis is here: