As President Trump seeks to fulfill his campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday released new guidelines that could lead to the most widespread deportations the country has seen in decades.
The pair of memos aimed at enforcing Trump’s executive orders on immigration mean millions more people living in the U.S. illegally could become targets for deportation.
The memos signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly call for any undocumented immigrants to be deported if they’ve been convicted or even charged with a criminal offense, “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits,” or “have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter before a governmental agency.”
That means undocumented immigrants who have committed even minor traffic infractions, received any government assistance, or used fake Social Security numbers to be able to work, common offenses among undocumented immigrants, could be shipped out of the country.
The new guidelines also give immigration officials broad latitude to deport anyone who they deem “poses a risk to public safety or national security.”The memos greatly expand expedited removal of undocumented immigrants, allowing customs agents to deport more people faster and with fewer hurdles.
It’s a real sweeping change in immigration enforcement,” said Ben Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “They make clear that they intend to deport anyone and everyone that they find in the United States, regardless of how long they’ve been here, whether they get a chance to talk to a judge or have any due process.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the 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,” promising to fight them in court.
But immigration hawks celebrated the move.
The NY Daily