Trump Administration’s Tough Immigration Order

Venkata Kondubhatla

Washington (DC): The department of Homeland Security announced two implementation memorandums on Tuesday that detailed broadening of immigration enforcement in the country. Trump had promised voters during his presidential campaign that he would deport criminal immigrants. He had talked about the victims and their lives affected by criminal immigrants. The new orders not only fulfill the promises he made, but also go much farther to crack down on illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration had also issued orders to deport criminal immigrants, but those deportations were limited to criminals that are convicted. Trump’s new order goes far beyond this. The orders also have provisions for surge in the border security personnel, enlist local police to secure the borders, and add more immigrant detention centers.

During Obama’s expedited removal program, people were apprehended and deported if they were caught crossing the border or found within 100 miles of the border and are in the country for less than 14 days. Now, they can be arrested anywhere in the country even if they lived in the country as long as two years.

Trump’s new orders blur criminality by widening its definition. The passage from the order lists all the offenses that can deport immigrants:

a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;

b) have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;

c) have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

d) have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

e) have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

f) are subject to a final order of removal but have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or

g) in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

The danger is in the vagueness. It involves the risk of subjecting any violation of law to criminal offense. This also suggests far greater deportations than anyone has seen under previous administrations. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary had said “no” during press conference in response to a reporter’s question that “if one of the goals here mass deportation?” Spicer said deporting criminal immigrants was “number one priority.”

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