Colombian migrants deported from US
Colombian migrants deported from the U.S. arrive at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogota Reuters

NEW YORK CITY - As Donald Trump's aggressive rhetoric toward immigrants intensifies, U.S. Latinos are growing increasingly worried about the possibility of mass deportation regardless of whether their status is legal, a new poll by Axios reports.

Trump's plan to mass deport migrants is at the heart of his reelection bid ahead of the 2024 elections. He has pledged to carry out the "largest domestic deportation operation in American history" and remove the estimated 10.5 million undocumented people in the United States— two-thirds of whom have lived in the country for more than a decade.

"Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump's return to the Oval Office. He will restore all of his prior policies, implement brand new crackdowns that will send shockwaves to all the world's criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute" the deportation operation, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement to The Washington Post. She added that undocumented immigrants "should not get comfortable because very soon they will be going home."

As his campaign ramps up, the narrative has seemingly taken a toll on the psyche of Latinos and immigrants in the U.S.

Overall, 52% of Latinos surveyed said they worry that all Latinos will be targets of the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, according to the Axios study.

Similarly, 54% of Mexicans and Mexican Americans— who have previously been targets of mass deportations in the 20th century— said they worried that any new mass deportation plan would target all Latinos, including U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

Trump's plan to crack down on immigrants includes using a range of tools to deport millions of people, including obscure and military funds.

He plans on mobilizing ICE agents— along with the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, federal prosecutors, the National Guard, and even state and local law enforcement officers— to carry out deportations.

It is yet unclear whether the former president could pull this plan off if he is elected. At the same time, skepticism over these plans also revolves around human costs, as it is presumed that his proposed program could ripple across the nation, according to Axios.

If these plans ever come to fruition, Trump would turn to an Eisenhower era program called "Operation Wetback," which used military-style tactics to round up 1.3 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans across the country in the 1950s for the then-largest deportation operation in U.S. history. "Wetback" is a racial slur for Mexicans.

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