DHS Memos & Enforcement

DHS Memos & Enforcement

Earlier this year, on January 25th, the president signed two Executive Orders on immigration enforcement. On February 20th, the Department of Homeland Security released two memos which outline how those orders will be enforced by Immigration agents.

The February 2017 memo “Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies” calls for a large increase in hiring thousands of new agents for ICE and CBP, which will require approval for funding from Congress before it can begin implementation.

The other February 2017 memo, “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” expands the category of individuals considered priorities for removal. In 2014 under the Obama administration, the enforcement priorities published by DHS focused on undocumented individuals who had been convicted of a crime. This more recent memo under the Trump administration still lists those convicted of a crime as removal priorities, but now also includes those who “in the judgement of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”

It is unclear if ICE has changed their practices under this new memo or if they have yet to implement this additional enforcement priority in their removal of undocumented individuals who have not committed a crime. Regardless, it is important that anyone who feels that they are risk of being picked up or detained be as prepared as possible! The best way to prepare is to meet with you family and come up with a plan. If you have not already met with a qualified Immigration Attorney, schedule a consultation to see if you qualify for any relief. It is also wise to start a savings account to either post bond or hire an attorney in the event that you or someone in your family is arrested and detained. It is vital that you and your family are prepared and that you know your rights, but it is also important to cooperate with law enforcement. Being obstructive to law enforcement can make matters much worse for you and your family.

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