There are three messages coming out of the Trump administration: Trump claims priorities are to deport undocumented immigrants criminals first and deal with the law abiders later . He proposes to deny federal funding to "sanctuary cities" that do not report "illegal immigrants" to ICE (the federal immigration enforcement agency). The latter is on hold due to a federal judge calling it unconstitutional and that there is no legal definition of "sanctuary cities". Last, even if an illegal immigrant is not a criminal, they are still subject to deportation, but it is just not the Administration's priority to search them out with their expanded ICE deportation force. The hard line Trump policy means a lasting solution to the Latin American immigration issue is nowhere in sight because of the influence in Congress of ultra-conservatives and the continued support of Trump by his political base.
Factcheck.org, the Pulitzer winning non-partisan, independent fact checking project funded by the Annenberg Foundation , posted a list of "whoppers" told by Pres. Trump in his first one hundred days. One of those was Trump's claim that "sanctuary cities breed crime". To make his point, even during the campaign, Trump pointed to an example of a murder committed by an illegal immigrant, once deported and back again. Making a selective case a poster child does not mean that the conclusions can be generalized. Fact Check found there was no evidence that the crime rate was worse in sanctuary cities and some studies showed that the criminal element among immigrants was similar to the rate in non immigrant populations. Fact Check's own definition of "sanctuary cities" is " are those that limit the degree to which local police cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain and turn over unauthorized immigrants."
That the Trump policy of giving priority to deporting criminals has bi-partisan support. It was also the policy of the Obama administration, who immigrant rights advocates dubbed "importer in chief" for the increased numbers deported during his term. The political problem occurs in urban areas with large immigrant populations, with friends and relatives who are citizens and voters. Others such as border residents, and many business people see advantages in immigrants as a low cost work force . There are also voters who consider the Trump folks racists, inhumane, and hatefully divisive.
On the other hand, Atty General Jeff Sessions reminded all that anyone who is here illegally, criminals or not, are subject to deportation. The result is to drive even those without criminal records who are here illegally back into the shadows. The recent deportation of a dreamer, a young person who was baby brought to America by an undocumented parent, adds a great deal of fear among the immigrant population and has resulted in problems for big city law enforcement. Witnesses to crime who are undocumented are now fearful to come forward to report crime as are those who are undocumented. The greatest impact has been on the reduction of reporting of domestic violence, noted in California in the US news article and there has been a noticeable impact specifically in Denver, as well.
There is even a wider impact on US citizens. A friend of mine was involved in a fender bender with a driver who appeared to be Hispanic with a limited command of English. While she was able to get coverage from her insurer, her insurer told her to reported it to the police.. At the time, she did not consider the damage sufficient to require a police attendance, but she did get the first name and telephone number of the driver she rear-ended. There was no visible damage to the other car. She was advised to file a police report later, but no one ever responded to her telephone call and she is unable to reach the other driver, making it impossible for her to file the report. This is just one example of what happens when those who fear deportation, even if they are not criminals, are driven underground. You can imagine what happens if in the case of other situations that may or may not involve a crime as either a witness or a victim.
Those on the right claim the undocumented have no legal rights under the Constitution. Wrong, say others.. Except for voting, getting some government services, or getting some government jobs and gun purchases, they do, especially rights to due process and equal protection. Civil rights as found in the Constitution's 14th amendment apply to persons, not "citizens" and there have been many court decisions upholding that.
See http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/immigration/255281-yes-illegal-aliens-have-constitutional-rights for some of the court decisions upholding those rights.