Memos bol­ster bor­der ac­tions

STRONGER FORCE ON IM­MI­GRA­TION LAWS DHS rules leave in place Obama’s DACA di­rec­tive

The Washington Post Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID NAKA­MURA

Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John F. Kelly has signed sweep­ing new guide­lines that em­power fed­eral au­thor­i­ties to more ag­gres­sively de­tain and de­port il­le­gal im­mi­grants inside the United States and at the bor­der.

In a pair of memos, Kelly of­fered more de­tail on plans for the agency to hire thou­sands of ad­di­tional en­force­ment agents, ex­pand the pool of im­mi­grants who are pri­or­i­tized for re­moval, speed up de­por­ta­tion hear­ings and en­list lo­cal law en­force­ment to help make ar­rests.

The new di­rec­tives would su­per­sede nearly all of those is­sued un­der pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions, Kelly said, in­clud­ing mea­sures from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama aimed at fo­cus­ing de­por­ta­tions ex­clu­sively on har­dened crim­i­nals and those with ter­ror­ist ties.

“The surge of im­mi­gra­tion at the south­ern bor­der has over­whelmed fed­eral agen­cies and

re­sources and has cre­ated a sig­nif­i­cant na­tional se­cu­rity vul­ner­a­bil­ity to the United States,” Kelly stated in the guide­lines.

He cited a surge of 10,000 to 15,000 ad­di­tional ap­pre­hen­sions per month at the south­ern U.S. bor­der be­tween 2015 and 2016.

A White House of­fi­cial said the memos were drafts and that they are un­der re­view by the White House Coun­sel’s Of­fice, which is seek­ing some changes. The of­fi­cial, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the process is not com­plete, de­clined to of­fer specifics.

In a se­ries of ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions in Jan­uary, Pres­i­dent Trump an­nounced plans to make good on his cam­paign prom­ises to build a wall on the bor­der with Mex­ico and to ramp up en­force­ment ac­tions against the na­tion’s es­ti­mated 11 mil­lion unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants. Kelly’s memos, which have not been re­leased pub­licly, are in­tended as an im­ple­men­ta­tion blue­print for DHS, for­mally estab­lish­ing the new poli­cies and di­rect­ing agency em­ploy­ees to be­gin fol­low­ing them.

How­ever, many specifics of achiev­ing the goals of Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive orders re­main un­clear. For ex­am­ple, Kelly’s memos di­rect fed­eral of­fi­cials to seek all avail­able fund­ing for the bor­der wall, but most of the funds, es­ti­mated at more than $20 bil­lion, must be ap­pro­pri­ated by Congress.

Kelly, a re­tired Marine Corps gen­eral, was sworn in to over­see the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity hours af­ter Trump was in­au­gu­rated Jan. 20. His memos are copied to of­fi­cials at Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, Im­mi­gra- tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment and the U.S. Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices. A Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity spokes­woman de­clined to com­ment on the doc­u­ments but did not dis­pute their au­then­tic­ity.

The memos do not in­clude mea­sures to ac­ti­vate Na­tional Guard troops to help ap­pre­hend im­mi­grants in 11 states that had been in­cluded in a draft doc­u­ment leaked to re­porters on Fri­day.

DHS of­fi­cials said Kelly, whose sig­na­ture did not ap­pear on the draft doc­u­ment, had never ap­proved such plans.

Im­mi­grant rights ad­vo­cates said the two memos signed by Kelly mark a ma­jor shift in U.S. im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies by dra­mat­i­cally ex­pand­ing the scope of en­force­ment op­er­a­tions.

The new pro­ce­dures would al­low au­thor­i­ties to seek ex­pe­dited de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings, cur­rently lim­ited to un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants who have been in the coun­try for two weeks or less, to any­one who has been in the coun­try for up to two years.

An­other new pro­vi­sion would be to im­me­di­ately re­turn Mex­i­can im­mi­grants who are ap­pre­hended at the bor­der back home pend­ing the out­comes of their de­por­ta­tion hear­ings, rather than house them on U.S. prop­erty, an ef­fort that would save de­ten­tion space and other re­sources.

The guide­lines also aim to de­ter the ar­rival of a grow­ing wave of 155,000 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors who have come from Mex­ico and Cen­tral Amer­ica over the past three years. Un­der the new poli­cies, their par­ents in the United States could be pros­e­cuted if they are found to have paid smug­glers to bring the chil­dren across the bor­der.

“This memo is just breath­tak­ing, the way they re­ally are look­ing at ev­ery part of the en­tire sys­tem,” said Marie­lena Hin­capié, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Law Cen­ter.

Joanne Lin, se­nior leg­isla­tive coun­sel at the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, said in a state­ment that “due process, hu­man de­cency, and com­mon sense are as in­con­ve­nient ob­sta­cles on the path to mass de­por­ta­tion. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is in­tent on in­flict­ing cru­elty on mil­lions of im­mi­grant fam­i­lies across the coun­try.”

The memos don’t over­turn one im­por­tant di­rec­tive from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion: a pro­gram called De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals that has pro­vided work per­mits to more than 750,000 im­mi­grants who came to the coun­try il­le­gally as chil­dren.

Trump had promised dur­ing his cam­paign to “im­me­di­ately ter­mi­nate” the pro­gram, call­ing it an un­con­sti­tu­tional “ex­ec­u­tive amnesty,” but he has wa­vered since then. Last week, he said he would “show great heart” in de­ter­min­ing the fate of that pro­gram.

The memos in­struct agency chiefs to be­gin hir­ing 10,000 ad­di­tional ICE agents and 5,000 more for the Bor­der Pa­trol, which had been in­cluded in Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions.

Kelly also said the agency will try to ex­pand part­ner­ships with mu­nic­i­pal law en­force­ment agen­cies that dep­u­tize lo­cal po­lice to act as im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers for the pur­poses of en­force­ment.

The pro­gram, known as 287(g), was signed into law by the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion and grew markedly un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s ten­ure. It fell out of fa­vor un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Cur­rently 32 ju­ris­dic­tions in 16 states par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Kelly’s memo.

Kelly called the pro­gram a “highly suc­cess­ful force mul­ti­plier,” and in­structed his deputies to ex­pand it “to the great­est ex­tent prac­ti­cal.”

Bran­don Judd, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Bor­der Pa­trol Coun­cil, which rep­re­sents fed­eral agents and of­fi­cers, had not seen the memos as of Satur­day af­ter­noon. In an in­ter­view, he said his or treated ga­ni­za­tion fully sup­ports the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s agenda on bor­der se­cu­rity.

Judd said he thinks the ef­fort to crack down on en­force­ment is al­ready pay­ing div­i­dends. He said that ap­pre­hen­sions of unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants in the Rio Grande Val­ley in Texas, one of the heav­i­est trav­eled ar­eas of the bor­der, have fallen by about 1,000 be­tween the first two weeks of Jan­uary and first two weeks of Fe­bru­ary.

Those fig­ures could not be in­de­pen­dently cor­rob­o­rated by The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Judd at­trib­uted the pur­ported de­cline to fear among im­mi­grants of the new Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion poli­cies, in­clud­ing re­quire­ments that those who are ap­pre­hended will not be re­leased be­fore their im­mi­gra­tion court hear­ings.

“They’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion,” Judd said.

“The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is in­tent on in­flict­ing cru­elty on mil­lions of im­mi­grant fam­i­lies.” Joanne Lin, se­nior leg­isla­tive coun­sel at the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union

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