HASH(0xba5300)

Draft DHS guidelines sharpen focus on those here illegally

Draft DHS guidelines sharpen focus on those here illegally

WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department has drafted sweeping new guidelines aimed at aggressively detaining and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, according to a pair of memoranda signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly.

The memos dated Friday seek to implement President Donald Trump’s broad directive to crack down on illegal immigration. Kelly outlines plans to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand on the priority list for immigrants marked for immediate removal and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests, according to a person briefed on the documents, who confirmed the details to The Associated Press.

“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,” Kelly wrote.

He said apprehensions on the southern U.S. border had seen an additional surge of 10,000 to 15,000 per month from 2015 to 2016.

The memos leave in place one directive from the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows young people who were brought into the country illegally as children to stay and obtain work permits. The program has protected about 750,000 immigrants since its inception in 2012. Trump has previously indicated his desire to end the program, but at his press conference last week he indicated that he would “show great heart” toward the program.

The memos were reported first by The Washington Post and other news organizations. A U.S. official familiar with the documents did not dispute the accuracy of the memos signed by Kelly, which were originally scheduled for release Friday before they were postponed for White House review.

A White House official said officials there had raised objections with the documents and were working with DHS to finalize the policy. The official was not authorized to discuss the process publicly and insisted on anonymity.

Under the draft guidelines, Kelly seeks to “expeditiously hire” 10,000 more enforcement agents and 5,000 Border Patrol officers.

Seeking to fulfil Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border, Kelly also calls on Customs and Border Protection to “immediately begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads.” He describes the wall as necessary to deter illegal immigration and calls it a “critical component” of Trump’s overall border security strategy.

He says the department will also prioritize for more immediate removal those who have been convicted of a crime; charged with a crime; committed fraud in connection with a matter before a government agency; abused any program related to public benefits; or have not complied with orders to leave the country.

Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized the proposed guidelines as a Trump style of immigration enforcement in which “due process, human decency and common sense are treated as inconvenient obstacles on the path to mass deportation.”

“The Trump administration is intent on inflicting cruelty on millions of immigrant families across the country,” she said in a statement.

Hope Yen And Julie Pace, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

New Lake Country school sports fields to include track and field oval

School rec facilities to be developed on former Aspen Grove golf course

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

AC/DC tribute ready to rock Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton stops on LA Bonfire tour

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

Most Read