Two DHS Memos Detail How Trump Could Detain and Deport Immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security is set to release guidance on President Donald Trump's immigration and border security executive orders that has sweeping implications for undocumented immigrants in the United States and those seeking to enter in the future.

The changes contrast measures from former President Barack Obama to exclusively focus on deportations of hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.

The memos dated February 17 seek to implement President Donald Trump's broad directive to crack down on illegal immigration.

He said apprehensions on the southern US border had seen an additional surge of 10,000 to 15,000 per month from 2015 to 2016.

The expanded relationship with local law enforcement would be carried out through what is known as 287 (g) - a section on the federal Immigration and Nationality Act that allows DHS to deputize state and local law-enforcement officers so they can function as federal immigration agents.

An anonymous White House official told McClatchy that both documents were "not yet final", adding that the drafts had not yet received White House approval, and that "the White House has the final say". Those children would no longer be protected against deportation, and their parents would be subject to criminal prosecution if they had paid human traffickers to bring their children across the border - a common scenario now. Previously, expedited removal was only used for immigrants caught within 100 miles of the border within 14 days of coming into the U.S., or by those who arrived by sea but not at a port of entry.

One provision would direct the immediate return of Mexican immigrants who are apprehended along the border back home, pending the outcomes of their deportation hearings. (According to Kelly, doing so would save resources at detention camps.) "You are allowed an attorney in immigration court", Mackler said.

For now, the memos leave in place President Obama's protection of the so-called "dreamers", who arrived to the United States as children.

"These memorandums represent a significant attempt to expand the enforcement authority of the administration in areas that have been heavily litigated", said Leon Fresco, who led the Justice Department's Office of Immigration Litigation under Obama.

Applicants from countries with a high rate of political persecution had a higher chance of winning their asylum cases. The operation spawned a rash of "fake news" reports, tweets, and other social media comments that sparked unnecessary fear among immigrants not in the sights of the targeted operation.

Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, tweeted that the memos would support "mass deportation".

Without clear priorities, the determination of detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions will fall to individual agents.

"The Trump administration is intent on inflicting cruelty on millions of immigrant families across the country", she said.

  • Leroy Wright