Harsh protocol has been implemented by Trump administration to increase the numbers of illegal immigrants being deported from the US, and speed up the process. This is aimed specifically at any immigrants without the correct documentation who are arrested for traffic violations, shoplifting or any other more serious convictions. Although the guidelines will not change current US immigration laws, they will ensure that the existing laws are enforced far more thoroughly. This could hugely affect a large proportion of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the US currently.

How have things altered from the Obama era?

During the Obama era, the policy was focused on the deportation only of those individuals who had committed serious crimes, had only recently crossed the border or were deemed a threat to national security. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the new model increases the focus incredibly, as it broadens it to nearly all illegal immigrants without documentation. In fact, DHS’s list of “removable aliens” is so vast that nearly all classes of undocumented immigrants are included, apart from those who arrived to the US when they were children. This is because it maintains the Obama era rule regarding those known as ‘Dreamers’, which excuses the 750,000 illegal immigrants who arrived in the US as children from deportation.

In order to carry this out, Trump administrative’s plan on asking congress for more money and going on a recruiting rampage to gather the manpower they need. Local and state law-enforcement officers will also have permission to arrest illegal immigrants. To cope with demands, the DHS plan on recruiting 10,000 new officers under Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents. While Obama did emphasize the need for deportation at some times in some places, he was also very lenient in others. However, the Trump administration will ensure that the US immigration laws are heavily enforced consistently across the country.

What do the new orders consist of?

As of the new guidelines which were announced on Tuesday, both Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be allowed to deport immigrants straight away. Officers can now speed up deportations for any illegal immigrants who cannot provide proof that they have resided in the US for over two years, situated anywhere in the country. This is very different to when Obama was president, where only the deportation of individuals who had been in the country for less than 14 days and were situated 100 miles from the border was sped up.

There are a number of new priorities such as:

  • Broadening deportations to illegal immigrants who have been convicted of any crime, who’ve failed to tell the truth about who they are, are believed to be a risk to the public, or “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits”. As a result of this, ultimately they have the power to deport an illegal immigrant they come across.
  • Illegal immigrants discovered on the border will now be placed in detention centres until their case is resolved, as opposed to releasing them like before.
  • A Push for adults who assist in the smuggling of their children into the US to be prosecuted.
  • Granting plans of expanding the border wall along the southern border of the US to begin.

Where have these new guidelines come from?

These plans came from executive orders which were signed by Mr Trump on the 25th January just a number of days after taking over. The new guidelines did not mention where the money to build the border wall would come from, or where the illegal immigrants seized during this operation would be held. Instead, the guidelines stated that officers should use “all available resources to expand their detention capabilities and capacities”, however, it is likely that Congress will have to fund the construction of brand new detention centres.

If you’re currently worried or uncertain about any changes that are happening with the country or your state, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialist immigration lawyers.