Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

DHS Enforcement News

On February 21st, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took initial steps to implement the two January 2017 Executive Orders concerning enforcement of immigration laws. DHS issued memoranda, fact sheets, and questions and answers to guide law enforcement officers and the public regarding President Trump’s executive orders on border security and interior enforcement.

Among other things, the DHS memos clarify that:

  • Anyone who has committed any immigration violation is now at risk of being put into deportation proceedings. Prior removal priorities that focused on criminal aliens are eliminated.
  • Many more people will be deported, detained, or issued ankle bracelets under the new guidelines and Executive Orders that authorize an additional 15,000 immigration law enforcement officers.
  • DHS will expand its 287(g) “secure communities” program to encourage state and local police to identify and detain suspected immigration violators, until the DHS can initiate removal proceedings.
  • DHS will expand its existing expedited removal program so that more people will be immediately deported without a hearing unless they are an unaccompanied minor, intend to apply for asylum or have a fear of persecution or torture in their home country, or claim to have lawful immigration status. Previously, expedited removal only applied to people inside the U.S. who were apprehended within 100 miles of the border within 14 days after entering the country. Now expedited removal will apply to people who have been in the United States for up to two years. A Federal Register notice will soon follow to make this regulatory change.
  • The executive orders and implementing memos do not affect the DACA program.

The DHS memos differ slightly from the drafts leaked on February 17. Overall, however, they represent the same emphasis on removal.

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