American Civil Liberties Union Responds to Trump's New Mass Deportation Instructions

DHS said it will leave in place the Obama administration's protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, also known as DREAMers, and undocumented immigrants whose children are US citizens or legal permanent residents. While these memos keep Barack Obama's DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) intact - for now, the latest deportation plans will surely send a shock through America's undocumented immigrant community.

The memos imply that there will be a more aggressive approach to illegal immigration taken, which includes hiring 15,000 new Department of Homeland Security employees.

Immigrants account for 13 per cent of the U.S. population, or more than 40 million naturalised American citizens.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wrote in one of the memos: "The surge of illegal immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States".

The guidelines widen the net for deporting undocumented immigrants from the country, expanding the definition for investigation to include nearly everybody who has come into the country without documentation. The immigrant must also make clear they present "neither a security risk nor a risk of absconding and will "comply with any additional conditions of release imposed by ICE to ensure public safety and appearance at any removal hearings".

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The US Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Trump signed on January 25.

In a recent call with investors, CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger specifically noted Trump's new orders. The memos seek to end that practice, known as "catch and release", by ordering the construction of more jails along the southwest border to house detained immigrants until their cases are resolved. "And it's a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country".

The memos also rescind any prior directives or orders issued by previous administrations that offered conflicting directions on immigration enforcement or the prioritization of deportees.

Trump, though, is not using the military to deport undocumented immigrants.

According to the same source, under the changes about to be imposed, if someone cannot prove they have lived in the United States for two continuous years, they could be eligible for "expedited removal".

  • Sidney Guerrero