US to expand deportation of undocumented immigrants: Report
Iran Press TV
Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:11PM
US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has signed sweeping new deportation guidelines that will authorize more aggressive operations to deport undocumented immigrants, according to a new report.
Kelly signed a pair of memos on Saturday, allowing his department to hire thousands of new enforcement agents, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Kelly's new guidelines also included widening the classification of immigrants who should be prioritized for removal, using local law enforcement for the arrests and speeding up deportation hearings.
"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," the DHS head said in the documents.
"Criminal aliens have demonstrated their disregard for the rule of law and pose a threat to persons residing in the United States," he added. "As such, criminal aliens are a priority for removal."
According to Kelly, the new guidelines would replace almost all of the deportation policies adopted by Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor.
The policy shift will see the scope of enforcement operations dramatically expand, allowing authorities to arrest immigrants who have been in the US for up to two years. The current time-limit is two weeks or less.
Under the new guidelines, Mexican immigrants apprehended at the border will be immediately deported, instead of being housed on US soil as they wait for the outcome of their deportation hearings.
Parents of unaccompanied Mexican children who pay to have their child smuggled over the border would also be prone to prosecution, the report added.
A Trump administration official told the Post that the memos were drafts under review by White House Counsel's Office. A DHS spokesperson did not dispute the authenticity of the documents.
The documents did not discuss using the National Guard to accelerate the deportation raids in 11 states, an issue the White House denied after another draft memo leaked on Friday.
Earlier this week, the DHS announced that it had arrested nearly 700 people in its immigration raids, claiming that around 75 percent of them were onvicted felons.
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