The Washington Post is reporting that some sweeping changes are coming in how US immigration policy is enforced. The seem to be more focused on what to do with illegals who are apprehended than on finding illegals to apprehend. That is a non-trivial difference as enforcement at the border is much less politically charged than enforcement in immigrant communities.
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.
In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.
The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.
These are the elements.
1. We can expect some reprogramming of existing appropriations to wall construction.
2. Currently only illegals who have been in the US for less than two weeks get expedited deportation hearings. The new rules will extend that to two years.
3. Mexicans will be immediately returned to Mexico to await the outcome of their deportation hearings rather than housing them in the US. This will be a significant financial savings.
4. Parents of juveniles arriving alone will be subject to human trafficking charges if they paid for a smuggler to move their kid to the US.
5. Plans are being made to add 10,000 ICE agents and 5,000 Border Patrol officers.
6. The 287(g) program, a program that allows state and local law enforcement to act as immigration agents, will be expanded.
DACA will not be touched in this order.
“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.”
And the Washington Post, being the Washington Post, can’t get through even a short story without telling at least one huge lie:
The memos do not include measures to activate National Guard troops to help apprehend immigrants in 11 states that had been included in a draft document leaked to reporters on Friday.
As we posted on Friday, the leaked DHS memo doesn’t propose to “activate National Guard troops,” it merely proposed expanding the 287(g) program to National Guard units.
What these memos reflect is an increased seriousness at the border. The next phase will take place as Jeff Sessions gains control of Department of Justice. Immigration judges are appointees, not Article III judges, and the Attorney General can overturn their findings and replace them.
Just the increased seriousness will deter many from attempting to make the journey and it will definitely improve the morale of the Border Patrol.