Homeland Security Secretary Directs Agents to Ramp Up Illegal Immigration Enforcement

WASHINGTON — Pressing ahead with President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released a sweeping set of orders Tuesday directing federal agencies to ramp up enforcement.In the pair of memos dated Monday, Kelly instructs agents from Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate, identify and detain any unauthorized immigrant they encounter. The directives serve as blueprints for the Department of Homeland Security as it implements Trump’s executive orders signed in January.While the memos continue to prioritize unauthorized immigrants who have been convicted of a crime, they emphasize that ICE agents have “full authority” to arrest and initiate deportation proceedings against any other undocumented immigrant they encounter.The orders direct ICE to “expeditiously” hire an additional 10,000 agents and officers to assist with the increased enforcement efforts, and they also call for 5,000 more border patrol agents. The guidelines also suggest that border agents may send some immigrants caught crossing the Mexican border illegally back to Mexico, regardless of whether they are from there.After meeting with the acting director of ICE last week, Rep. Joaquin Castro said it was clear that the Trump administration “is going to target as many people as possible.”The San Antonio Democrat said the only hesitation for ICE was whether to go after beneficiaries of President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows the children of unauthorized immigrants who were brought here as minors to remain in the U.S. — a quandary made public by Trump’s assertion last week that it is a “difficult subject” for him.   Continue reading...

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