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Homeland Security

US Must Hire 5,000 Border Patrol Agents - Homeland Security Secretary

Sputnik News

18:22 21.02.2017(updated 18:46 21.02.2017)

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that US Customs and Border Patrol agency must immediately hire 5,000 new border patrol agents to apprehend immigrants entering the United States illegally.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency must immediately hire 5,000 new border patrol agents to apprehend immigrants entering the United States illegally, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a memorandum.

"The Commissioner of CBP shall… immediately begin the process of hiring 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, as well as 500 Air and Marine agents/officers," the memo stated.

In the memorandum, dated February 20, Kelly said the CPB currently has insufficient capability to detect, track and apprehend people attempting to enter the United States without permission.

Kelly additionally authorized the expansion of an Immigration and Nationality Act section to any willing and qualified state or local law enforcement jurisdiction.

The program, known as 287(g), allows state and local law enforcement officers to carry out the same functions as federal immigration officers.

Kelly issued the memorandum pursuant to President Donald Trump's January 27 executive order on immigration. The order gave the Homeland Security chief direct supervision over a number of changes to US immigration policy, including the expanded detention and deportation of individuals who are staying illegally in the United States.

The United States will begin the expedited deportation of immigrants apprehended at US borders, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a memorandum released on Tuesday.

"To ensure the prompt removal of aliens apprehended soon after crossing the border illegally, the [Homeland Security] Department will publish in the Federal Register a new Notice Designating Aliens Subject to Expedited Removal under Section 235(b)(1)(a)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act," the memorandum stated.

Kelly explained that the Nationality Act may "to the extent I determine is appropriate, depart from the limitations set forth in the designation currently in force."

At present, expedited removal only applies to individuals who are apprehended within 100 miles of the US borders and 14 days after they enter the United States.

Kelly noted that US immigration courts are experiencing a significant backlog of cases of immigrants who are not currently detained.

More than 534,000 immigration cases are pending in courts across the United States, according to the Homeland Security Department.

The memorandum stressed that immigrant deportations should not occur before asylum-seekers' claims for relief or protection are processed. International law prohibits nations from returning asylum-seekers with a well-founded fear of persecution to their countries of origin.

To expedite asylum claims, Kelly ordered asylum officers to process claims at detention facilities and ordered the expansion of detention capabilities at or near the US-Mexican border.


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