President Donald Trump said the federal government's effort to deport undocumented immigrants is a "military operation" designed to target "really bad dudes."
"We're getting really bad dudes out of this country," Trump said at a meeting with manufacturing CEOs, reported The Hill. "And at a rate nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it's a military operation."
Trump's remarks come at a time when there is increased interest in his immigration policies, which expands the level of crimes for which the White House suggests that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement should target undocumented immigrants. Although DHS and ICE can target and arrest any undocumented immigrant they choose to, the White House suggestions can hold weight in the decision-making process on who to target.
Despite the expansion of crimes including misdemeanors, Trump touted his policies as going after allegedly violent immigrants, including "gang members."
"You see what's happening at the border," the president said. "All of the sudden, for the first time, we're getting gang members out. We're getting drug lords out. When you see gang violence and you’ve read about it like never before, all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally. And they're tough ... but they're not tough like our people."
The Trump administration is also planning on hiring up to 15,000 more border patrol officers.
According to NPR, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the hiring will be done "as fast as we can," but added: "We will not lower standards and we will not lower training."
Kelly then admitted it would take some time to hire that many new border patrol officers and said he doesn't believe, "we're going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of years."