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Homeland security gets tougher

DHS memos signal strict new border enforcement and action on undocumented immigrants

DHS memos signal strict new border enforcement and action on undocumented immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security has drafted two new memos which aim to ramp up deportation efforts against undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The memos, which were signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly and dated Friday, were reportedly distributed to agency heads, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration services, according to media site McClatchy, who first obtained the documents.

Kelly’s memos offer a blueprint to agency heads for how they should implement Trump’s executive orders on immigration. But they aren’t final until the White House signs off on them, which it hasn’t yet done.

Here’s what the memos propose:

  • The new system would expand the criteria for “expedited removal proceedings.” At the moment, fast-track deportation applies to anyone who has arrived in the U.S. in the last two weeks. The new criteria would apply to anyone who arrived in the last two years.
  • Currently, Mexican immigrants apprehended at the border are given the option to be held at a U.S. detention center while they wait on the outcome of their proceedings. The new system would immediately return people to Mexico while they wait for their immigration hearing.
  • Children who arrived in the U.S. as “unaccompanied minors” and were later reunited with their parents living in the country illegally would not be protected from deportation. Their parents could be subject to prosecution though, especially if they paid human traffickers to transport their children over the border.
  • One memo says that Dreamers — young people whose undocumented parents brought them to the U.S. as children, and who became eligible for semi-legal status under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program  — would be safe from immigration enforcement. But another section states that no class of immigrants will be given special protection.
  • The memos would also put the wheels in motion for the additional hiring of more Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, building the infamous wall along the southern border, and expanding detention facilities.



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