United States, 21st February: New DHS Guidelines outline tougher US immigration rules. The latest memos from the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security) have outlined aggressive US immigration and border enforcement rules.
New DHS Guidelines Outline tougher US Immigration rules
The DHS is ready to unveil guidance on US President Donald Trump’s immigration and border security policies that will have sweeping impact on undocumented immigrants in the US. Even those wanting to come to the US in the future will also be affected by these new rules.
New guidelines shall toughen immigration norms on asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors entering the US.
These memos are from John Kelly, the US Homeland Security Secretary, to the agency chiefs. These happen to be the initial step to put into effect the aggressive US immigration policies of Trump. There are provisions that may make noticeable changes to the enforcement of US immigration policies.
Tougher US immigration rules for asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors coming to the US
Such immigration rules may send those awaiting immigration proceedings in the US back to Mexico.
The documents explain how Trump’s plans will be executed by the US administration. These signal a hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants in the US. For sure, these will delight the right wing on the US immigration policy.
The memos are also likely to ignite tensions with US immigrants, their advocates as well as democratic lawmakers who have been criticizing arrest of around 700 immigrants in the US this month by the ICE(Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Related Read — Trump’s Impact on US Immigration Policies
Immigrant communities in the US have been fearful already due to the rhetoric of Trump against undocumented immigrants. Hence, the enforcement actions by the ICE have added fuel to the fire.
More Powers to Immigration Officials to detain Immigrants
New guidance means increased difficulties for asylum seekers since it authorizes detention of increased number of undocumented immigrants while handing over more powers to the immigration officials.
The new documents, meanwhile, are yet to be published. Hence, they might change before getting issued officially.
Tougher US immigration rules—expansion of certain terms
- The use of “expedited removal” proceedings for undocumented immigrants has been expanded authorizing them to be deported quickly due to limited court proceedings. Earlier, the term “expedited removal” was used by the ICE and Customs and Border Protection just for immigrants arrested within 100 miles of the US border within 14 days of coming to the US or by those who came by sea and not at any port of entry.
- Yet another term –“catch-and-release” policies- enabling individuals to be paroled from detention while waiting for US immigration court proceedings is going to be ended. The memo has ordered an increase in immigration judges as well as detention facilities for accommodating the individuals to be held while laying increased thresholds for individuals to be released pending US immigration proceedings.
- The memorandum wants to toughen the standard for fulfilling the ‘credible fear’ test for immigrants to be considered for US asylum. It has placed a high bar on the credibility of perceived threats.
- The memorandum toughens norms for children without any authorization entering the US. It will treat such children as “unaccompanied alien children”. Under the US immigration law, “unaccompanied alien children” are those who are below 18 years and don’t have a parent with them or available to care for them in the US.
- The memorandum declared that the US will, no longer, exempt classes/categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement which could mean that those having protection under the DACA may be subject to removal proceedings.
- It expands ‘287(g) program that enables the federal government to allow state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration officers’ functions.
- It allows immigration officials to make immediate decisions about whom to arrest. It states that the officers must start actions against any individual they meet in the course of their official duty. It includes arrest/apprehension of any alien who is believed by the immigration officer to have violated the immigration laws. Officials get authority by the new guidance to arrest individuals suspected of being undocumented.