President Trump’s DHS Immigration Guidance “Legally Defensible”
The Trump Administration new immigration memos narrow the guidance. and now focus on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.
Homeland Security Department memos were signed by Secretary John F. Kelly.
Under the Hussein-Obama Admin guidance, immigrants whose only violation was being in the country illegally were mostly left alone. Those immigrants fall into 2 categories: those who crossed the border without permission and those who overstayed their visas.
Crossing the US border illegally is a criminal offense, and the new memos make clear that those who have are included in the broad list of enforcement priorities.
Overstaying a visa is a civil, not criminal, offense. Those who do are not specifically included in the priority list but, under the memos, they are still more likely to face deportation than they had been before.
The new enforcement documents are the latest efforts by US President Donald Trump to follow through on campaign promises to strictly enforce US immigration laws.
President Trump also promised to build a Wall at the Mexican border, and the Mexico will eventually pay for it and Secretary’s Kelly’s memos reiterate calls for Homeland Security to start planning for the costs and construction of The Wall.
US immigration officials said Tuesday that any immigrant in the country illegally could be deported, but the agency would prioritize those deemed as posing a threat to the public.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) guidance to immigration agents for deporting illegal migrants “is a very clever tack by the Trump Administration,” famed civil-rights attorney Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday on TV.
“They have created a far more legally defensible approach,” the Harvard Law School professor emeritus said.
“It’s legally on much more solid ground.”
The directives do not affect President Barack Hussein-Obama’s program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals remains in place, though participants could be deported if they commit crimes or otherwise are deemed to be threats to public safety or national security, according to the department.
The enforcement memos also call for the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
The US government also plans to review a program that allows local police and jailers to act as immigration agents and a program that used fingerprint records from local jails to identify immigrants who had been arrested.
“We’re just simply trying to execute what Congress and the president has asked us to do,” an official added. “We’re going to do so professionally, and humanely … but we are going to execute the laws of the United States.”
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