DHS Outlines Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a laundry list of orders Tuesday to implement President Donald Trump's executive orders concerning immigration and border security.

Guidance from U.S. Sec. of Homeland Security John Kelley dated February 20 aims to enforce President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration and border security - strengthening border enforcement and restricting privacy of undocumented immigrants.

President Trump's January executive orders expanded federal immigration authority, as well as the definition of who could be considered a criminal alien, and cracked down on sanctuary cities.

The new directives would supersede almost all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.

Homeland Security officials said the policies would not affect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama administration policy that offered protection from deportation for people who were brought to the USA illegally as children.

"The memos also instruct the agencies to recruit police and sheriff deputies to assist immigration agents".

Immigrant rights groups immediately blasted the news Tuesday as a mass-deportation campaign that goes against stated promises to only concentrate on criminal aliens.

The Trump administration is wholesale rewriting the USA immigration enforcement priorities, broadly expanding the number of immigrants living in the us illegally who are priorities for deportation, according to a pair of enforcement memos released Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.

The new system would expand the criteria for "expedited removal proceedings".

The provisions mandate that the government detain immigrants until they are granted a hearing before an immigration judge, ending the Obama administration's policy of releasing some to live with relatives until their hearings.

But outside those exemptions, Kelly wrote that DHS "no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement".

But the plan leaves in place Obama-era protections for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children.

The DHS plan was signed Friday by the agency's new secretary, John Kelly.

The memos do not change USA immigration laws, but take a far harder line toward enforcement. The order insists that undocumented immigrants are to be returned "to the territory from which they arrived", meaning Central American immigrants crossing the border would actually be returned to Mexico until their court cases could be heard. Under the new Trump policies, officials said Tuesday, anybody in the US illegally is subject to deportation at any time.

The guidance memos released by the DHS predict a massive increase in resources being allocated to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, building that wall, now downgraded to a fence, at the Mexican border and a hard-line approach to undocumented immigrants.

Nevertheless, though it will take some time to implement some of Trump's policies, and some may never see the light of day, some of them, including a broader mandate for deportations, are already having a very real and immediate effect on immigrants.

Kelly is also looking to turn-back illegal aliens who try to cross the USA border while they await a ruling on their deportation hearings-saving resources that would normally be used for detention centers.

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