On Tuesday, the Trump administration decided that it was time to throw away any fears that the people might have had regarding the new immigration policies. The administration clarified the fact that these new policies will not lead to “mass deportations”, as everyone believes. Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly presented the changes in two memos. However, the officials added that they would implement those changes in time because they require financial and logistical resources. However, what are those changes and who will they affect?
Details on deportation
Back in 2014, the Obama administration said that the deportations should only focus on those people who were considered a threat like gang members, criminals and people who were characterized as security threats. Now, immigration agents will be able to remove from the country anyone with a criminal record, charged or convicted of any criminal offense, no matter its seriousness. Anyone already ordered deported will be removed from the country, no matter if they have a criminal record or not.
Also during the Obama administration, the officials released into the United States anyone crossing the border illegally. Meanwhile, their asylum requests were going through the entire immigration system, a complicated one and a process which sometimes took years. At the time their request was accepted or denied (as it was the case most of the times), the immigrant could no longer be found in the country. Or it took some more years until the agents were able to finally find the person. And the circle went on and on, without palpable results.
With the new Trump administration, the idea is to expand detention facilities for those caught illegally crossing the border. Which can be housed at the facilities that Obama had already used. Another solution would be to send the immigrants back to Mexico.
As for the children arriving at the border unaccompanied, there are special measures which the officials should take. They must appear before an immigration judge and an asylum officer should talk to them. The problem falls on their parents who are going to face deportation or prosecution for allowing their children to travel and cross the border alone.
The Tuesday memos specified that the administration needs a bigger enforcement force. This could make the removal of the undocumented immigrants happen much quicker. However, this process may take a longer time than predicted. Firstly, the administration needs to hire around 15,000 people to deal with those new measures, like border patrol agents. Homeland security secretary John F. Kelly says that this is hard to do, next to impossible in the next two years at least. His solution is to quickly hire fewer people and to make sure that they do their job properly. The process will be slower but more qualitative.
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