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Sunday, February 19, 2017
DHS to issue sweeping new guidelines to make it easier to deport
Homeland security Secretary John Kelly is about to revolutionize how the US government will approach the issue of illegal immigration and border security.
Kelly has signed off on new guidelines that will make the job of deporting illegal aliens quicker and easier while repealing just about all of President Obama's directives on how to handle border crossers.
The office of White House counsel is reviewing the new guidelines, but even with minor changes, the new rules will give border patrol officers greater flexibility and speed up the process of deportation both in the courts and at the border.
The new procedures would allow authorities to seek expedited deportation proceedings, currently limited to undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for two weeks or less, to anyone who has been in the country for up to two years.
Another new provision would be to immediately return Mexican immigrants who are apprehended at the border back home pending the outcomes of their deportation hearings, rather than house them on U.S. property, an effort that would save detention space and other resources.
The guidelines also aim to deter the arrival of a growing wave of 155,000 unaccompanied minors who have come from Mexico and Central America over the past three years. Under the new policies, their parents in the United States could be prosecuted if they are found to have paid smugglers to bring the children across the border.
"This memo is just breathtaking, the way they really are looking at every part of the entire system," said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.
Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that "due process, human decency, and common sense are treated as inconvenient obstacles on the path to mass deportation. The Trump administration is intent on inflicting cruelty on millions of immigrant families across the country."
Got that? It's "cruelty" to enforce the law. And what is "common sense? Releasing illegals on the vague promise that they will appear in court (only about 15% actually show up) or send them back and give them the opportunity to make their case in a US immigration court at a later date?
The memos don't overturn one important directive from the Obama administration: a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that has provided work permits to more than 750,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.
Trump had promised during his campaign to "immediately terminate" the program, calling it an unconstitutional "executive amnesty," but he has wavered since then. Last week, he said he would "show great heart" in determining the fate of that program.
The memos instruct agency chiefs to begin hiring 10,000 additional ICE agents and 5,000 more for the Border Patrol, which had been included in Trump's executive actions.
Kelly also said the agency will try to expand partnerships with municipal law enforcement agencies that deputize local police to act as immigration officers for the purposes of enforcement.
The program, known as 287(g), was signed into law by the Clinton administration and grew markedly under President George W. Bush's tenure. It fell out of favor under the Obama administration.
No illegal is denied due process. They just can't stay in the US waiting for a court date for which they never show up.
The Obama administration would release illegal aliens caught at the border almost immediately - not even bothering to detain them until a court date could be set. That madness will now end and in addition to aliens who commit felonies, those in the US less than two years will also face a return to their country of origin while the overburdened immigration court system is overhauled and made to function in a more timely manner.
This is altering policy, not changing the law, which is why Congress doesn't need to sign off on these new guidelines. No doubt, some aspects of the new policy will be challenged in court, where we've seen liberal judges ignore the law to advance a social justice agenda.
All the more imperative that Justice Gorsuch be confirmed as soon as possible.