22/02/2017 - 08:40

Trump announces new enforcement measures against undocumented immigrants

The Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly issued a memo yesterday outlining new priorities on enforcement of immigration laws. The Memorandum to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol agents provide more details on the policies outlined by President Trump in his Executive Orders, on January 25, 2017. Among the most concerning parts of the documents are the portions outlining more aggressive enforcement against unaccompanied minors and their families, as well as significant enhancement of expedited removal proceedings.

Here are the main highlights of the Memorandum:

  • Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest

·         Enforcement priorities include nearly all individuals without status, and clearly rejects the prioritizing of individuals with criminal records

.     Termination of Priority Enforcement Program and reinstitution of Secure Communities


·      Announces upcoming changes to ICE detainer request forms (I-247)


·      Hiring of 10,000 more ICE officers

·      Formation of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office

·      Establishment of a program to collect fines from individual aliens and those who facilitate their unlawful presence in the United States

·      DHS will no longer interpret federal privacy laws to cover aliens

Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies

·      Cessation of the “catch-and-release” policies for individuals caught at or near the United States border


·      Creating a presumption that all individuals apprehended will be detained, absent particular circumstances or other requirements under federal law for parole

·      Hiring 5,000 more CBP officers

·      Promotion of 287(g) programs to enhance cooperation and coordination with state and local governments


·      Expedited removal proceedings for all individuals (without a valid claim to entry) who cannot demonstrate that they have been in the United States for at least two years (previously it had been 14 days)


·      Making efforts to combat fraud by those seeking asylum, including directing the head of USCIS to increase the operational capacity of the Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate

·      Expansion of detention facilities along the southern border

·      Enhanced efforts to combat fraud in claims made by unaccompanied minors who enter the United States

.     The memo claims that some 60% of unaccompanied minors are released to reside with a parent who is in the United States illegally. (According to the memo, once that occurs, the child should lose the protections offered by the status of being an unaccompanied minor.)

·      Enhanced enforcement against individuals who facilitate the smuggling or trafficking of children across the border, including their parents.