Right from the early days of election campaigning till the very end, the then presidential candidate Donald Trump made no bones about his desire to crack down on illegal immigration. But after he was elected as the President of the United States of America, he repeatedly offered different interpretations of just how tough he would be in the White House. The latest enforcement memos issued by the Homeland Security are the latest efforts by President Trump to follow through with his campaign promises to strictly enforce immigration laws. It clearly states that an estimated 11 million immigrants living in US illegally will be targeted for deportation.
Here’s look at some of what the memos say the government will do:
1. Immigrants who have crossed over illegally be sent to Mexico, regardless of where they came from
A border security memo suggests use of a long-standing albeit obscure US law to send some immigrants who have crossed the border illegally back to Mexico, regardless of which country the are from. However, the memo and the corresponding law it cites don’t give details on how the country can force Mexico to allow foreigners into that country.
2. Stop providing legal protection to child immigrants caught crossing the border
One of the memos tells the Homeland Security Department to stop providing certain legal protections to child immigrants caught crossing the border alone if they are reunited with their parents or a legal guardian inside the United States. According to the protections given to them, it allows for those children to have their case decided by a judge. But if the new policy is anything to go by, it would likely subject them to fast-track deportation proceedings that do away with judge’s approval.
3. Local police likely to enforce federal laws
Under the Barack Obama administration, activities of local police and jailers acting as immigration agents was curtailed. There were communities who complained that some jurisdictions were overtly aggressive in enforcing federal laws. But the memos make it amply clear that the present government plans to restart those programs.
4. Jail and prosecute more people crossing border illegally
The memos says if people are caught crossing border illegally, they will face criminal charges. The government considers it illegal to cross the border without permission, and charges those with felony. But this process is costly and resource intensive. One of the memos also calls for more jails.
5. Hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents, 10,000 immigration agents
The Donald Trump administration has announced its plans to hire nearly 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told lawmakers earlier in February this month that hiring would be slow but the agency will not lower its standards.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines