US issues guidelines aiming at deporting about 11 million undocumented migrants

The Department of Homeland Security issued new directives Tuesday to increase deportations among the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in one memo that 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".

The memo officially leaves in place Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama administration's 2012 program known as DACA that tries to keep "Dreamers", undocumented children who came to the a young age, from being deported.

Currently, Mexican immigrants apprehended at the border are given the option to be held at a US detention center while they wait on the outcome of their proceedings. That will mean fewer opportunities for undocumented immigrants to appear before an immigration judge. They will include those who have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with an official matter before a governmental agency such as using a phony Social Security number, those who have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits and those who in the judgement or discretion of an immigration officer otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

The Obama administration made a point of prioritizing those with criminal histories for deportation.

"With extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement", the department said.

'All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States'.

The other memo, called Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest. 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.

'These memos confirm that the Trump administration is willing to trample on due process, human decency, the well-being of our communities, and even protections for vulnerable children, in pursuit of a hyper-aggressive mass deportation policy, ' Jadwat said. The other memo, on border security, is here (PDF); fact sheets are here (PDF) and here (PDF).

Besides Pena Nieto, the two American officials will meet with Mexico's ministers of the interior, foreign affairs, finance, defense and the navy, the State Department said. They also greatly expand expedited removal of undocumented immigrants, allowing customs agents to deport more people faster and with fewer hurdles. These officers operate by "identifying and apprehending removable aliens, detaining these individuals when necessary, and removing them from the United States", the DHS budget said.

  • Larry Hoffman