Extreme deportation: Chilling new memos from DHS secretary
With respect to immigrants, America is beginning to look like a fascistic, xenophobic police state:
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.
“The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly stated in the guidelines.
He cited a surge of 10,000 to 15,000 additional apprehensions per month at the southern U.S. border between 2015 and 2016.
A White House official said the memos were drafts and that they are under review by the White House Counsel’s Office, which is seeking some changes. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is not complete, declined to offer specifics. …
[M]any specifics of achieving the goals of Trump’s executive orders remain unclear. For example, Kelly’s memos direct federal officials to seek all available funding for the border wall, but most of the funds, estimated at more than $20 billion, must be appropriated by Congress. …
Immigrant rights advocates said the two memos signed by Kelly mark a major shift in U.S. immigration policies by dramatically expanding the scope of enforcement operations.
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.
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