Trump Says Biden Wants to 'Abolish Immigration Enforcement'—That Isn't True

What began as an announcement from President Donald Trump on his decision to sign an executive order ending Hong Kong's trading status on Tuesday quickly unraveled into a sweeping attack on Joe Biden and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's campaign platform.

Taking aim at a list of policy recommendations reached by a "unity" task force between Biden's campaign team and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump claimed that if elected president, Biden would "abolish immigration enforcement."

Noting that Biden has promised to end workplace raids conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Trump said Biden would "abolish immigration enforcement against illegal workers."

"Think of that: Abolish immigration enforcement. They're going to abolish immigration enforcement," Trump said during his Tuesday speech.

While both Biden's platform and the list of policy recommendations drafted by the "unity" task force demand far-reaching immigration reforms, including ending workplace raids, they do not go so far as to say that immigration enforcement would be abolished.

While Trump said the "Biden-Sanders agenda" was "worse than…Bernie's platform" in terms of immigration reform, it stops short of calling for ICE or immigration enforcement to be completely abolished.

The "unity" recommendations do call for a "roadmap to citizenship" to be created for those who are living undocumented in the country.

They also call for a number of policies from the Trump administration to be repealed, including the government's travel ban affecting a string of Muslim-majority countries, its Migrant Protection Protocols, which have forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their U.S. claims are processed and other asylum policies believed to have forced the separation of immigrant families.

The plan also supports Biden's own call for a 100-day moratorium on deportations while the new administration conducted a "full-scale study on current practices" to develop recommendations for reforming U.S. immigration enforcement policies and practices.

Both Biden's platform and the "unity" recommendations stop short of ordering a defunding or abolition of either ICE or immigration enforcement generally in the U.S.

Taking aim at Biden's moratorium on deportations, Trump said on Tuesday: "Stop all deportation. So if we get a MS-13 gang member, which we've taken out of our country by the thousands—brought them back to Honduras, Guatemala—can't do that anymore—El Salvador. Can't do that anymore. Stop all deportations. So in other words, we'll take all of these people—many of whom are in prison for rape, murder, lots of other things."

However, Biden's platform has long been focused on ending the targeting of people "who have never been convicted of a serious criminal offense and who have lived, worked, and contributed to our economy and our communities for decades."

The former vice president's campaign platform states that "Biden will direct enforcement efforts toward threats to public safety and national security, while ensuring that individuals are treated with the due process to which they are entitled and their human rights are protected."

It does not state that he would stop all deportations completely following the moratorium or that he would end deportations of those who have committed serious criminal offenses.

Newsweek has contacted the Biden and Trump campaigns for comment.

Donald Trump Rose Garden
President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 14, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Trump railed against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the speech. Drew Angerer/Getty