The US Department of Homeland Security has just released a set of documents that explains and expounds upon President Donald Trump’s travel ban that may result in a significant change in the way the United States’ existing immigration laws are enforced. Notable changes include the following:
Any undocumented individual who has committed any criminal offense (as opposed to serious criminal offenses, which was the policy under the Obama administration) will be removed from the country by border patrol agents and customs officers. These criminal offenses include those who have “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.” There is no longer a priority to remove more serious criminals first.
The time taken to deport individuals is majorly expedited, allowing customs officers and border patrol agents to remove non-citizens faster. “Under the Obama administration, expedited removal was used only within 100 miles of the border for people who had been in the country no more than 14 days. Now it will include those who have been in the country for up to two years, and located anywhere in the nation.”
The department of Immigrations of Customs will be hiring 10,000 new agents and building more detention facilities. Given that there are 11 million estimated illegal immigrants in the country, these added resources have been justified. Additionally, individuals who have had family members killed by undocumented immigrants will receive special help from the department with the creation of a new office specifically for them.
Local deputies and police officers will possibly be recruited by customs agents to assist in deportation efforts, making them “de facto immigration agents.” This is being done by reviving a previous program, which has already received significant opposition from many states.
Though there have been programs that officials claim will remain untouched by these new deportation rules, fresh fear and anger from immigration advocates and immigrants themselves have been generated in response. It is likely that the courts may again rise in opposition to these new travel ban interpretations. They may be too broad to be effective, and the cost of enforcing these restrictions could likely result in a humanitarian crisis for deportees.