June 29, 2017

DHS issues memos meant to crack down on illegal immigration

22 February 2017, 12:56 | Clarence Schmidt

In memos released to the media Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security detailed how it will implement President Donald Trump's controversial executive orders on immigration, laying out a blueprint for how immigration and border agents can detain and deport vastly more undocumented immigrants.

And the orders lay out the step-by-step procedures that immigration authorities intend to take to put Trump's executive orders into effect, including building a wall along the border with Mexico and hardening the government's position on undocumented immigrants.

One exception remains, however: undocumented persons who were brought to the country illegally as children will still be afforded leniency as they await a court case on their immigration status.

Kelly called for 10,000 additional ICE officers and agents and 5,000 new hires at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

The department of homeland security (DHS) seems to recognize some of the challenges in enforcing the new rules in a series of factsheets it released to explain the new policies.

New memos released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security detail a crackdown that calls almost all undocumented immigrants "priorities" for deportation.

Now: All federal immigration officers can now conduct an "expedited removal" anywhere in the USA against people who arrived in the the previous two years.

The program, initiated by the Obama administration in 2012, has protected about 750,000 immigrants.

"The Department will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement", the document says.

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While a memo explicitly states there is no protected class of immigrants, the status of DREAMErs - the young, educated immigrants protected under former President Barack Obama's DACA program - is now unknown.

In addition, the policies call for an expansion of a federal program that enlists state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws.

"Regardless of the desires for family reunification, or conditions in other countries, the smuggling or trafficking of alien children is intolerable", one memo reads.

Kelly ordered funds to be reallocated from programs providing resources for undocumented immigrants to a new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office in a second memorandum.

On Thursday, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-California) said that Homan told her and Democratic colleagues that ICE plans to significantly increase immigration arrests under Trump's executive order.

The provisions also allow federal authorities to prosecute the parents of unaccompanied minors who enter the country illegally if they are found to have paid smugglers. Now, the expedited removal process can be used for those in any part of the country illegally for up to two years.

The latest survey from the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends found over 11 million undocumented immigrants were living in the USA in 2014.

Now that the Trump travel ban is at least temporarily out of the news headlines, attention is shifting to the broader issue of the new administration's overall immigration policies.

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