Trump’s morphing immigration policy (not that anything he utters is actually a policy) is now the kinder gentler versions. He doesn’t want to break up families. He doesn’t want the good people to be rounded up and sent back to their home country, He wants to send the bad — presumably and let’s hope really bad --- people back to Mexico. If he could, it would be cheaper than putting them in U.S. prisons.
There are certainly numerous people here illegally who have outstanding felony warrants against them. I wouldn’t paint them with the broad brush of being “bad people.” In fact, most are non-violent offenders. I’d say those who committed violent felonies and trafficked in drugs can fairly be labeled “bad” and we don’t want them loose on our streets.
However, violent or not, when the police arrest them and they are adjudged guilty many go to prison. I won’t bother looking up the cost of incarceration. We all know it’s expensive. So shipping them across the border is a money saver.
Trump has ruled out a special Federal law enforcement force tasked with going after these felons. Never mind the optics around the world, it would be prohibitively expense.
The police sometimes do warrant round-ups and even stings where they put together special squads to go out and arrest people with outstanding warrants, or lure them to a location with the promise of a prize they won. Potentially, they could decide to only target those who are here illegally. However, I doubt if this is even constitutional, for it is obviously profiling. Local police, with some exceptions, don’t generally enforce federal laws, let alone immigration laws.
From a cost effective perspective it makes sense for the United States to send people who would otherwise be in prison here, back to Mexico. Of course, this assumes Mexico wants them back. After all they are criminals. I really doubt Mexico would welcome busloads of people they are glad to be rid of back.
All that Trump presumably could do as president is encourage state and local police to try to arrest as many illegals for felonies as possible. I don’t see away he could compel them to do this. This would seem to be profiling.
Remember, the Federal government is quite limited in what they can require of local police, reading Miranda rights for example.
Congress can only compel states to enforce laws that are listed in the US Constitution. For instance, a state can not stop the US Census during a census year.
In theory, federal laws that are not directly in the Constitution do not trump states' laws. For a reference, I would suggest you look up both the 9th and 10th amendments and read them carefully. The federal government is one of listed powers: i.e., they only have the powers specifically given to them in that document and any amendments - no more, no less.
In practice, federal law largely trumps the laws of the states because one of those enumerated powers is "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes". This is known as the "commerce clause". The courts have mostly given the federal government wide latitude when it comes to this clause, which basically allows them to claim virtually everything as "regulating commerce." For an example, making marijuana illegal is not an enumerated power as per the Constitution, so on its face, the feds cannot make the drug illegal nationwide. However, they claim that since it can be grown or imported in one state and easily taken across the border and sold, it affects interstate commerce, and so falls under federal regulation. Yes, it is an EXTREMELY long stretch, but the courts have generally interpreted it this way since the early 20th century, culminating in the Gonzales v. Raich case (see sources).
Source(s): Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution
9th and 10th Amendments (Bill of Rights)