Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Details on Immigration Executive Orders

The Department of Homeland Security published two "implementation memos" to clarify the Executive Orders about immigration. One is labeled "implementation" and the other "enforcement."

Highlights of "implementation":

  • immediate hiring on 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 500 Air & Marine Agents/Officers, though interestingly there is a caveat of "subject to the availability of resources."
  • mandate detention, with parole only on case-by-case basis. This means no "catch and release."
  • expansion of 287(g) though it remains voluntary
  • start designing and building a wall, though it also gives some wiggle room with references to "most appropriate locations" and "appropriate materials."
  • expanding expedited removal. This is the answer to the backlog in the court system--just avoid it entirely. The number of people subject to this is not defined and will come later.
  • for people coming a contiguous country (yes, we all know which one we're talking about) they can be sent back pending the removal hearing, which will be a videoconference. It appears that you're removed while the government sorts out your removal. This is true even for non-Mexicans if they came through Mexico.
  • build more immigration jails
  • punish parents who use smugglers to bring their children into the U.S.
Highlights of "enforcement":

  • ICE should hire 10,000 more officers plus support staff immediately, "subject to available resources."
  • exempt no group from removal. Criminals would be first priority, but individual DHS officers have wide discretion over everyone on a case-by-case basis.
  • create an office for people who are the victims of crime by undocumented immigrants.
  • create a public database of apprehensions
“We do not need a sense of panic in the communities,” a DHS official said in a conference call with reporters to formally release the memos to the public. 
“We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination,” said the official, who was joined on the call by two others, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to answer questions. “This is not intended to produce mass roundups, mass deportations.”

This is not a figment of anyone's imagination--mass roundups can clearly happen under these rules, and there are orders to create a bigger enforcement structure to make it happen.

DACA is not mentioned, which means that for now it will not be affected. For now, anyway.

Incidentally, John Kelly is leaving tomorrow for Guatemala and then Mexico, where he will join Rex Tillerson. I expect they will get an earful.


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