Trump admin outlines plan to crack down on undocumented immigrants
Washington — The Department of Homeland Security Tuesday officially laid out the Trump administration’s plans for aggressive enforcement of immigration laws, including a potentially massive expansion of the number of people detained and deported.
The department released guidance memos signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued to heads of key agencies, which describe how the government plans to implement two executive orders President Donald Trump signed last month on border security and interior enforcement.
The memos, which were obtained and reported on by CNN over the weekend, serve to expand upon the orders, which are unrelated to the controversial travel ban currently tied up in the courts and being re-written by the White House.
The guidance explains how the administration plans to put in place the goals dictated in Trump’s executive orders, including vastly increasing the resources to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, building a wall along the southern border and taking a hard-line position on undocumented immigrants.
Through the memos, Kelly expands the government’s immigration enforcement by instructing agencies to implement unused parts of existing law and by clarifying standards for certain protections, which add up to having sweeping implications for the processing of undocumented immigrants in the US.
For one, the implementation vastly grows the number of individuals who can be deported using “expedited removal” procedures, which affords immigrants almost no court proceedings. Under the new policy, if someone can’t prove he or she has been living in the US continuously for two years, he or she could now be eligible for expedited removal. Previously, this was limited in practice to people apprehended within 100 miles of the border and who had arrived within the past two weeks.
The memos also make a series of changes as part of ending so-called “catch and release,” where undocumented immigrants awaiting court proceedings are granted parole and leave to enter the country pending court dates that can be years in the future.