11 immigration policy changes that could impact local enforcement

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11 immigration policy changes that could impact local enforcement

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Mexican citizens arrive to the airport in Mexico City, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, after being deported from the U.S. While U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to alleviate Mexico’s concerns during a visit to Mexico City, President Donald Trump was fanning them further with tough talk about “getting really bad dudes out of this country at a rate nobody has ever seen before.” (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released a pair of memos last week on how President Donald Trump’s executive orders increasing immigration law enforcement would be implemented.

Provisions included:

1. Enforcement priorities: The department will prioritize enforcement for anyone here illegally who is suspected or charged of any crime, as opposed to the former policy of focusing on serious crimes or national security threats.

2. Prosecutorial discretion: Discretion on who to prosecute “shall not be exercised in a manner that exempts or excludes a specified class or category of aliens from enforcement of the immigration laws.”

3. VOICE: Directs ICE to reallocate all possible resources used to advocate for illegal immigrants and instead create the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office.

4. Staffing up: Hiring 10,000 ICE agents and 5,000 new border patrol agents.

5. End ‘catch-and-release’: Ends policies that allow immigrants to go free while awaiting a final determination on their deportation case.

6. Mexico’s tab: Directs all executive departments to calculate all direct and indirect federal aid to the government of Mexico every year.

7. Deputize locals: Expands the 287(g) program, which trains and deputizes local law enforcement to help enforce immigration law.

8. The wall: Begins planning design, construction and maintenance of a wall along the border with Mexico.

9. Expedited removal: increase “expedited removal” of people who are inadmissible to the U.S. and can’t prove they have been in the country for at least two years. Under Obama, this was only used for people in the country less than 14 days and less than 100 miles from the Mexico border.

10. Send non-Mexicans to Mexico: Allow federal officials to deport people caught crossing the southern border back to Mexico while awaiting deportation proceedings, regardless of what country they are from.

11. Child smuggling crackdown: While the order continues providing special treatment to unaccompanied minors, it seeks to prosecute those responsible — including parents they are trying to reunite with — with contributing to human trafficking.

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