Dept. of Homeland Security Memo Cracks Down on Undocumented Immigrants

February 22, 2017

The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) released several memos ordering instruct all Customs and ICE agents to identify, capture, and quickly deport all undocumented immigrants whenever they approach one. DHS plans to hire 10,000 more agents and is giving local police departments more powers with undocumented immigration enforcement. 

The DHS is putting the highest priority on undocumented immigrants with a criminal record, but agents are expected to arrest and start deportation proceedings whenever they approach one. 

The memos instruct agents to detain undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the border — instead of the previous policy of “catch and release” — where they are let go and ordered to appear in court. It is highly likely more detention centers will be built and it will require Congressional approval to fund those. 

The memo also instructs federal officials to find available fundings to build the border wall/fence, that will also require Congressional approval for the remaining balance of the estimated $20 billion cost. 

It seems like the DHS will honor President Obama’s program to shield undocumented children from deportation — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The DACA “delays” the deportation for 2 years, places children with adults (sometimes with undocumented adults), and provides them with work permits. 

Trump’s actions has put serious fear in the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Some of them decided to try and walk across the Canadian border and illegally get in.

The Canadian border is reporting an increase in people trying to cross the border — by those from Latin America or by refugees from either African or Middle-Eastern countries. Some of the refugees were traveling with small children in very cold weather and thick snow — because they hope the Canadian government will be more kind to them than the Trump administration.

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