Millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation ” including people simply arrested for traffic violations ” under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration.
Any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to Homeland Security Department memos signed by Secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses ” or simply having crossed the border illegally.
The Trump administration memos replace narrower guidance focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.
Under the Obama administration guidance, immigrants whose only violation was being in the country illegally were generally left alone. Those immigrants fall into two categories: those who crossed the border without permission and those who overstayed their visas.
Crossing the border illegally is a criminal offense, and the new memos make clear that those who have done so are included in the broad list of enforcement priorities.
The new enforcement documents are the latest efforts by President Donald Trump to follow through on campaign promises to strictly enforce immigration laws. He’s also promised to build a wall at the Mexican border ” he insists Mexico will eventually foot the bill ” and Kelly’s memos reiterate calls for Homeland Security to start planning for the costs and construction.
Clearly President Trump is not weak on immigration policy and is happy to enforce the full extent of United States law!