Nearly Everyone Living in the US Illegally Is Now Subject To Deportation: DHS Memo
01:30 PST, 21 February 2017
New DHS Memos Reveal That Almost Anyone Living In The US Illegally Is Now Subject To Deportation
The Department of Homeland Security released on Tuesday documents translating President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security into policy, providing details on how it will prosecute undocumented immigrants and criminal immigrants, repealing nearly all of the Obama administration’s guidances, and bringing a major shift in the way the agency enforces the nation’s immigration laws.
As the WSJ notes, “almost everybody living in the U.S. illegally is now subject to deportation, and more undocumented arrivals at the southern border would be jailed or sent back to Mexico to await a hearing rather than released into the U.S.” according to the new guidance.
“The Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” the enforcement memo says.
“Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws.”
Secretary John Kelly’s two memos expand raids and the definition of criminal aliens, while diminishing sanctuary areas and enlisting local law enforcement to execute federal immigration policy.
The memos still outline priority groups, starting with serious criminals. But the priorities are much broader and include people charged with crimes who haven’t been convicted, people guilty only of immigration-related crimes such as using false documents, and anybody who an immigration officer believes is a risk to public safety.
While DHS officials said they wouldn’t target otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants and don’t plan roundups of illegal immigrants, and said their limited resources would still require a focus on those people who pose a public-safety risk, they also said that people who don’t fall into a priority group aren’t exempt from deportation, and the DHS memo says exceptions would be made on a case-by-case basis.
Previously, under Obama guidelines, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense.
That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.” The only Obama-era guidances left in place were those relating to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
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