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President Trump wasted no time in signing a number of executive orders which concern our countryís immigration policies.
Today, he signed 2 executive orders, one of which authorizes the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and another which would curb Federal funding to sanctuary cities across the country.
The President called for the hiring of 5,000 additional border agents and another 10,000 immigration officers. He is also reinstating the Secure Communities program which was ended by President Obama. This program requires local law enforcement agencies to share fingerprint and other arrest data with the DHS.
In addition, federal agencies such as the IRS and the Social Security Administration will be required to share information regarding unauthorized immigrants with the DHS.
The number of persons incarcerated in immigration detention centers will be greatly increased from the present population of 34,000.
Tomorrow, President Trump is expected to sign another executive order, one which will temporarily halt refugee resettlement in the US and prevent persons from 7 Middle Eastern countries from entering the US with green cards or temporary visas.
The 7 countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban will last at least 30 days and could be imposed permanently if the governments of these countries do not comply with certain DHS and State Department requirements. The ban applies not only to tourists, students and temporary workers, but also to permanent residents of the US. It does not apply to persons from these countries who have become US citizens. Nor does it apply to citizens of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
Tomorrowís executive order will also impose an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees coming to the US as well as a 120-day ban on refugees from other countries. When the US begins accepting refugees again, the number will be reduced by over 50%.
Christians and other religious minorities from Moslem countries will be given priority for refugee status.
None of President Trumpís first 3 executive orders concern the DACA program.
Yesterday, there was a tornado of activity on the immigration front coming from the White House. President Trump signed two executive orders relating to immigration. One focused on border security, and the other on interior immigration enforcement.
Iím focusing this explanation on the latter, and more specifically the establishment of new deportation enforcement priorities, which were contained in Section 5 of the interior immigration enforcement executive order. These new priorities supersede the November 20, 2014, memorandum of then Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The new executive order established the following deportation priorities:
5. Enforcement Priorities. In executing faithfully the immigration laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in sections 212(a)(2) (Crimes), (a)(3) (Security Related Grounds), and (a)(6)(C) (Material Misrepresentation Fraud), 235 (Expedited Removal),and 237(a)(2) (Crimes, Controlled Substances, Firearm Offenses, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Violation of a Protective Order, and Crimes against Children) and (4) (Security Related) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3),and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2) and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:
(a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;
(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
Updated 01-26-2017 at 10:52 AM by MKolken
On January 25, 2017 Donald Trump issued two immigration-related executive orders and, according to multiple news reports, prepared to issue two others on January 26.
These executive orders may go a long way to assuage the concerns of his white nationalist and other anti-immigrant supporters that the new president was failing to carry out his promised assaults on Mexican, Muslim and other non-European immigrants by waiting for a few days (!) after his inauguration to take action against them. See:
But the two orders that were signed on January 25 and the two that are projected for signature on January 26, together with Trump's threat to put Chicago, whose mayor is a leading figure in the Sanctuary City movement, under martial law, should be greatly reassuring to those of his supporters and advisers who would like to see America turn back almost a century to the time of the 1924 Immigration Act racial/religious "national origin" immigration quotas which favored "Nordic" Protestant countries from Western Europe, while excluding most Catholic immigrants from Southern Europe, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and non-white immigrants from most of the rest of the world.
However, Trump's immigration executive orders will be greeted with considerably less enthusiasm by those who believe that America's strength lies in its diversity, that America was founded on the principle of the dignity of each human being, regardless of race, creed or color, and that our immigration system should be determined by democratic procedures, rather than by the diktat of a single ruler.
Let us first look at Trump's order regarding giving priority to "criminal aliens" for deportation. During the transition period Trump promised to single out only the "bad hombres" - unauthorized immigrants who had committed serious crimes - for immediate removal.
At that time, I warned that, based on the recommendation of anti-immigrant zealot Kris Kobach, who was responsible for drafting numerous state immigrant persecution and minority voter suppression laws that were in large part thrown out by the courts, Trump might extend the definition of "criminal alien" for this purpose to include not just immigrants who have been convicted of a crime, under our principle of law that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but immigrants who have been charged with a crime but not convicted.
See my November 24, 2016 ilw.com comment:
Likely New DHS Chief Wants to Abolish Presumption of Innocence So He Can Deport Criminal Aliens Who Have Not Been Found Guilty
(Sorry - I do not have a link - please go to Google.)
However in reality, Trump not only appears to have adopted this proposal by his Eminence Grise, Kobach (who fortunately was not finally picked to be DHS chief but whose influence over Trump's immigration policies may be no less powerful behind the scenes), but to have gone beyond that.
POLITICO reports on January 25 that one of Trump's executive orders signed that day gives "enforcement priority", not only to unauthorized immigrants who have been charged with a crime, though not convicted, but who "have committed acts that constitute a chargeable offence" even if not charged with a crime, who have engaged in some other immigration violations that are usually treated as civil, not criminal matters, and who, in the apparently unlimited discretion of an immigration officer. "pose a risk to public safety and national security".
In other words, potentially many millions of people who are in the US without legal status, not just those who have been adjudged to be criminals under our laws, will be "prioritized" for deportation.
America will need to build a very large network of private immigration detention prisons, similar to Vladimir Putin's target of 83 such gulags in Russia for that country's immigrants, in order to incarcerate everyone who could be at risk of being rounded up and detained for years while awaiting a removal hearing under this kind of of "prioritization".
See the following August, 2013 Moscow Times report:
I will have more to say about Donald Trump's immigration executive orders in my next comment.
Attorney at Law
Updated 01-26-2017 at 10:52 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs