Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trump's Deportation Guidelines Could Affect Up to 8 million people

Trump steps up deportation push
By Jordan Fabian and Rafael Bernal - 02/21/17

The Trump administration on Tuesday released a pair of memos outlining aggressive enforcement of immigration laws, potentially resulting in millions of deportations if the White House puts muscle and money behind the policies. The guidelines lay out sweeping changes from the narrower approach taken by former President Obama. The only Obama policy that survives is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that allows people who entered the country illegally as children to stay, usually for work or school. But the White House said even ­DACA could be ultimately eliminated, as President Trump looks to take a tough approach.

The memos, signed on Friday by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, vastly increase the number of immigrants who are considered priorities for deportation. Reflecting that reality, the memos direct immigration enforcement agencies to hire thousands of new agents to apprehend people living in the country illegally, with local police and sheriffs’ offices enlisted in the effort. Immigrant advocates reacted with alarm to the memos, fearing they signal the start of a mass-deportation program that will tear families apart and deprive people of their due-process rights. They said the guidelines could affect up to 8 million people.

“In my many years of practicing immigration law, I have not seen a mass deportation blueprint like this one,” said Marielena HincapiĆ©, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. Administration officials insisted that the memos simply outline Trump’s own priorities for who should, and who should not, be deported.