The Department of Homeland Security released a new set of rules on Tuesday aimed at strengthening America’s borders, and the guidelines make it clear that no illegal immigrant is safe from deportation.
In the new memos, law enforcement officials working for the various immigration agencies have been instructed to identify, arrest, and deport every illegal alien they come across.
Also in the guidelines are new procedures for those caught trying to come into the U.S. illegally. Instead of relying on the Obama-era “catch and release” rules, immigration officials can now place new arrivals into detention centers, where they must await their deportation hearings. In some cases, arrivals from Central America can be sent directly back across the border, sparing the system from further burdens.
Additionally, the memos call for a dramatic increase in personnel: Agencies under the purview of DHS have been ordered to hire 10,000 new agents. They also call on immigration agencies to again work hand in hand with local police, essentially deputizing them to make arrests on behalf of ICE.
While the new guidelines continue the Obama policy of prioritizing illegal immigrants who have been convicted of criminal activity, they depart from the last administration when it comes to those who haven’t.
“Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officers has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws,” says one memo. “They also have full authority to initiate removal proceedings against any alien who is subject to removal under any provision of the (Immigration and Nationality Act).”
Well. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Liberals and conservatives found unlikely common ground in the 2016 election: In many cases, people from both sides of the ideological spectrum believed that Donald Trump was not seriously going to crack down on illegal immigration. Not in the way he promised, anyway. He was all talk. There would be no mass deportations. There would be no wall. He was just firing up his base.
We can’t really blame them for thinking that. After all, we’ve come to expect our politicians to disappoint us when the rubber meets the road.
But everything Trump has done since the inauguration has proven that he was quite serious about making good on his campaign promises, and this new DHS policy statement is perhaps the clearest evidence of that. He promised to finally enforce this country’s immigration laws, and he is going to live up to that promise.