Department of Homeland Security releases glimpse of new immigration policy

Feb 22, 2017, 00:37

"It implements new policies created to stem illegal immigration and facilitate the detection, apprehension, detention, and removal of aliens who have no lawful basis to enter or remain in the United States".

"They said that we can and should expect many more arrests and removals this year, " Sanchez told the Los Angeles Times, adding that under the proposed policies, "essentially anybody who has an immigration status violation is a priority for deportation".

The memos shed more light on Trump's decision to vastly expand the definition of criminal immigrants who are priorities for deportation.

But, significantly, the memos leave two orders in place: one concerning young people who came to the United States as children but were allowed to stay, known as "dreamers", and another that allows parents to to stay in the country if they came here illegally to join their USA citizen children.

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

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. They provide a scary picture of what life will soon look like for the estimated 11 million undocumented men, women, and children who live among us.

The program has protected about 750,000 immigrants since its inception in 2012.

The agency also plans to send non-Mexican migrants crossing the southern United States border back into Mexico as they await a decision on their case.

A memo from the Department of Homeland Security is giving us a comprehensive glimpse, at how the president's aggressive immigration policies could be enforced.

The new DHS memos are meant to implement Mr Trump's immigration actions as well as enforce existing immigration law.

The new guidance would subject immigrants who can not show they have been in the country for more than two years to "expedited removal". "They fulfill the wish lists of the white nationalist and anti-immigrant movements and bring to life the worst of Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric", America's Voice Education Fund Deputy Director Lynn Tramonte said in a statement.

However, numerous instructions to immigration agents outlined in the guidance will not be implemented immediately because they depend on Congress, a public comment period or negotiations with other nations, the officials said. Prior to this, such a removal was only allowed in circumstances where undocumented immigrants were "encountered within 100 air miles of the border and 14 days of entry".

In his memos, Kelly said that those caught at the border are to be swiftly sent back and he freed agents to go after a broader group of illegal immigrants for deportation from within the interior of the United States. Now, the expedited removal process can be used for those in any part of the country illegally for up to two years.

He also wrote that building a wall along the entire U.S. -Mexico border, as Trump has called for, "necessary".

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