Administration May Expand DHS Powers on Deportation

Vincent Carr
July 16, 2017

The administration has proposed a new policy that would empower the DHS to speed up deportations of those immigrants who can not prove they have lived in the United States continuously for more than 90 days, The Washington Post reported, citing a 13-page internal agency memo.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent stops traffic as immigrants are deported across an worldwide bridge into Mexico on March 14, 2017 from Hidalgo, Texas.

But under the new policy now being analyzed as part of a broad overhaul, Homeland Security's expedited-deportation power would extend to illegal immigrants apprehended anywhere in the country who can not prove they have been inside the United States for more than 90 days. The current policy only allows the DHS to bypass the courts when an undocumented immigrant is found within 100 miles of the USA border and has been in the country for less than two weeks.

The 13-page memo outlining the new policy frames the change as necessary to alleviate "historic backlogs" in the country's immigration courts, as well as to discourage newly arrived undocumented immigrants from trying to travel deeper into the country to get around the current policy.

Two administration officials confirmed that the proposed new policy, which would not require congressional approval, is under review.

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Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration. He pledged to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records. Immigrants' rights advocates also say the change would strip away due process rights and target people seeking asylum or another form of legal status.

A spokesperson for DHS, Joanne F. Talbot, said that no decisions have been made by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Trump has also lifted restrictions applied to millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation if they had no criminal histories or were the parents of American-citizen children.

The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan said that arrests by his agency jumped to 41,318 between January 22 of this year and the end of April, up from 30,028 arrests in roughly the same period last year.

The administration of former President George W. Bush issued guidelines in 2004, specifying that the mechanism could only used for those taken into custody within 100 miles of the border and who had been in the country for less than two weeks.

Other reports by BadHub

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