Immigration consequences are disproportionatetly harsh
Tying immigration outcomes to criminality tacks adds wildly disproportionate punishments to relatively minoir crime or time already served. When a turnstile jump, weed possession, or dismissed criminal case can separate you from your family and banish you from the the country, the punishment far exceeds the crime.
This is a tough one for a lot of folks to grasp
The laws that govern who can enter and remain in the US are federal civil laws, not criminal laws, which means violating them is a civil violation, but not a crime. This distinction is critical, because if simply being in the US illegally were a crime, then ICE arrests would trigger all kinds of legal protections — like the right to a lawyer and to speedy and public trials — that Trump and ICE don’t want immigrants to have.
The entanglement of criminal & immigration law hurts us
Regardless of how you feel about border security, the reality is many immigrants are here and have lived in the US for years or decades. They have American families. They run American businesses. They serve in the American military. They pay taxes, even those who are undocumented. They also are central to the administration of our local justice systems — serving as police officers, correction officers, witnesses, informants, jurors and first responders. Aggressive, arbitrary and racially-motivated immigration policies damage American institutions.
In fact they make us safer
Most of the “crimes” immigrants get arrested for are not the sort of violent stuff Trump and his supporters love to attribute to immigrants. But even in cities where immigrants get into some trouble, immigration still enhances public safety. Research shows not only that immigrants commit fewer crimes overall than native-born Americans, but that large urban influxes of immigrants consistently correlate with a decrease in violent crime.