Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has signed new guidelines that significantly change the agency's approach to deporting undocumented immigrants, according to The Washington Post.
Two memos reviewed by the Post show the plans would override many Obama-era regulations. Former President Obama emphasized deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds and terrorist ties, but Kelly's memos would expand DHS' powers.
Here's what the new rules will let DHS do:
- Hire 15,000 more agents
- Prioritize a larger percentage of immigrants for deportation
- Speed up deportation hearings for people who have been in the country for two years or less
- Deputize local police to act as immigration officers for the purposes of deportation
- Immediately send Mexicans detained at the border back to Mexico, rather than house them while awaiting a deportation hearing
- Prosecuting parents who pay smugglers to get kids across the border
An anonymous White House official said the memos are drafts and are still being reviewed by the White House Counsel's Office. They do not mention plans to activate National Guard troops to deport undocumented immigrants which had been reported Friday.
The memo also makes no mention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, or "Dream Act") program that President Trump initially promised to terminate but has since backed down on. He said last week he would show "great heart" toward the program.
This memo is just breathtaking, the way they really are looking at every part of the entire system.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, was surprised by the memos.