Trump administration charging undocumented immigrants $500,000 , ahead of planned mass raids .
Donald Trump’s White House has sent notices of fines totalling nearly $500,000 (£396,715) to some undocumented Immigrants in recent weeks, as the federal government prepares to conduct sweeping immigration raids nationwide after the 4 July holiday.
The letters, described by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials as “notices of intention to fine”, were
Issued to certain individuals beginning in December 2018. The US department of homeland security stated the fines were for “failing to depart the US as previously agreed” and appeared to target undocumented immigrants
Lisa Hoeschst, an ICE officer, wrote Ms Espinal on 25 June, saying: “It is the intention of ICE to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777 [£395,115].”
A lawyer for Ms Espinal also rebuked the letter of intent, telling the outlet: “It’s almost half a million dollars. Are they for real? Do they really think that she’s going to pay this?”
The administration has meanwhile announced sweeping raids to take place that reportedly target undocumented immigrant families after Independence Day.
Mr Trump has threatened the raids unless Congress passes legislation that makes applying for asylum in the US a more restrictive process.
She added, “I laughed, because there has to be someone in some basement in DC thinking, ‘Oh, what else can I do to mess with immigrants. What else can I do to hurt them?’”
“It’s a vivid illustration of the lengths the Trump administration will go to use any available authority to try to enforce immigration law.” Barack Obama told NPR he could not recall a time when such a massive fine had been levelled against immigrants “for failing to facilitate one’s own removal”