US issues new immigration enforcement policies, tightens deportation rules

By: | Published: February 22, 2017 10:04 AM

Following through on President Donald Trump’s promise of tightening the borders and putting a stop to illegal immigration, the United States administration has announced new directives under which undocumented migrants will be an enforcement priority, however, insisting the measures are not intended to produce “mass deportations.”

Trump had taken a hard line against illegal immigration during his campaign, at times suggesting he would seek to create a nationwide “deportation force” to expel as many of the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants as possible. (Reuters)

Following through on President Donald Trump’s promise of tightening the borders and putting a stop to illegal immigration, the United States administration has announced new directives under which undocumented migrants will be an enforcement priority, however, insisting the measures are not intended to produce “mass deportations.”

The Department of Homeland Security has released memos regarding the implementation of two of the President’s executive orders that are designed to protect the homeland. These two memos provide explicit guidance to DHS staff on how to carry out two executive orders signed by the President on January 25th — one dealing with interior enforcement and one with border security.

Trump had taken a hard line against illegal immigration during his campaign, at times suggesting he would seek to create a nationwide “deportation force” to expel as many of the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants as possible. Briefing the media, White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated that the memo outlines several practices and policies in order to strengthen the efficient and faithful execution of America’s immigration laws.

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The new guidelines, intended as a road map toward implementing a pair of executive actions Trump signed last month, call for the hiring of thousands of additional enforcement agents, expanding the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speeding up deportation hearings and enlisting local law enforcement to help make arrests. However, Spicer firmly denied that the goal of Trump’s executive orders is mass deportations. Rather, he said, the Obama administration had allowed “so many carve outs” on which immigrants were to be the focus of enforcement actions that federal agents “had their hands cuffed behind them.”

“The president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say, ‘You have a mission, there are laws that need to be followed, you should do your mission and follow the law,’” Spicer said.

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