10 things to know about Trump’s new immigration rules

Express News Global

Published: February 23, 2017

10 things to know about Trump's new immigration rules
10 things to know about Trump’s new immigration rules

President Donald Trump is cracking down on the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants following an executive order last month and two memos on Tuesday from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Here are 10 things to take away from the new changes to immigration policies:

1. While the Trump Administration is prioritizing to deport convicted felons, traffickers and gang members, the Department will also “no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”. 

What it means: The new policies puts anyone charged with or convicted of crime at risk. This applies to minor crimes and unresolved crimes. The changes also states any fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection to any government agency is grounds for deportation. Undocumented immigrants with false social security numbers are directly affected by this rule. The policy adds, anyone who receives public benefits is also a target as well as those who have been ordered to be deported but have not complied.

However, currently Trump’s immigration is not going after Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. This group was issued work permits and temporary protection from deportation under the Obama Administration under a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

2. President Trump’s new policy aims to expand “expedited removal”.

What it means: The Trump Administration is pursuing a law already in place, which gives immigration officials the right to deport undocumented immigrants without seeing a judge. Since it was introduced two decades ago, the law has only applied to undocumented people encountered within 100 miles of the border, who have been in the country for two weeks or less. It was used lightly because of concerns over whether the constitutional right to due process, regardless of immigration status, is violated. The new policy plans to use the law extensively, citing a backlog of more than half a million cases pending in immigration court.

3. The “catch-and-release” policy will no longer be used.

What it means: Under the Obama Administration, people found crossing the border were released into the U.S. while seeking asylum. The process usually takes years and gives individuals the option of not being found. Under President Trump, the catch-and-release method will end. However, it may take some time to see the changes, as the memo notes, there is work to be done in expanding detention facilities to hold the larger expected numbers. Until there is enough space to hold people caught, priority will be based on potential danger and risk of flight.

4. Deporting migrants to Mexico, even if they’re not originally from Mexico.

What it means: A new change allows DHS to send undocumented immigrants back to the foreign country bordering the U.S. from which they arrived to wait out the immigration process. This would require cooperation from Mexico, after their foreign minister already stated Trump’s immigration policies will not be accepted.

5. Strengthening the role of local law enforcement agencies in immigration tasks.

What it means: The Trump Administration wants to use all available resources to carry out deportations. Under a program known as 287(g) in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), DHS can train state and local law enforcement officers to carry out special immigration functions by identifying undocumented immigrants in their jails and communities and turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to Trump memo, between January 2006 and September 2015, the program led to the identification of more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants through jail. There are currently 32 law enforcement agencies across 16 states participating in 287(g). The new changes aims to expand the program.

6. The new policy demands a larger immigration task force.

What this means: President Trump plans on hiring 10,000 ICE agents and officers, as well as other support necessary to carry out ICE activities. The memo also calls for the hiring of 5,000 border patrol agents and 500 air and marine officers.

7. Children traveling alone will be granted special protection.

What this means: Unlike other undocumented immigrants under the new rules, children are still granted rights to appear before a judge and the right to an asylum interview. However, their parents and family members can face consequences of criminal prosecution or deportation if residing in the U.S. Many parents pay smugglers to get their kids over to the U.S. The memo states, regardless of the family or parents’ attempt to reunite with their child, they’re facilitating trafficking and smuggling by sending their children across the border.

8. Establishing Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE):

What this means: This is a direct jab at sanctuary cities. VOICE creates a bridge between ICE and victims of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. This allows victims and their families access to an offender’s immigration and custody status. Importantly, the memo states the office will “reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens (except as necessary to comply with a judicial order) to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.”

9. ICE will now provide monthly reports on its apprehensions and releases.

What this means: The memo is calling for monthly reports of ICE data for transparency. The information will be available to the public and made easy to read, every month free of charge. The information should include an individual’s country of citizenship, convicted criminals and the nature of the offense, as well gang members. If an undocumented person is released, the report must state the reason why. ICE also has to provide weekly reports about state and local agencies that release undocumented immigrants from jail, another shot to sanctuary cities. The Trump Administration is already considering removing federal aid from sanctuary cities.

10. The new rules strip away the privacy rights of undocumented immigrants.

What this means: DHS will no longer provide Privacy Act rights and protections to people who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. In 2009, the Privacy Act, which was already available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, was extended to undocumented immigrants. This meant information obtained by agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Immigration Services, could not share information with other agencies, such as ICE. The memo said, DHS is developing new rules on how agencies will share undocumented immigrants private information.

The new immigration rules can be changed or modified at any time.