Donald Trump is changing the way that federal immigration laws are to be enforced. This can lead to the deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.
The two memos from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were released that details wide-ranging directives focused on both interior enforcement and changing security along the US-Mexico border.
Detailed in the memorandums are allowances for the federal authorities to more aggressively detain undocumented immigrants, increase the amount of deportations, and reduce asylum claims.
The memos also state that any immigrant living in the US illegally who has been charged, convicted or suspected of any crime will become a priority to enforce. Including arrests for shoplifting or minor offenses.
“The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” the DHS secretary, John Kelly, states in the guidelines.
The official statement from the the White House is denial that new guidance was intended create mass deportations. During the campaign however, Trump vowed create a deportation force and wanted the removal of undocumented immigrants living in the US.
“We don’t need a sense of panic in the communities,” a DHS official said in a conference call with reporters, according to the Washington Post. “We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination. This is not intended to produce mass roundups, mass deportations.”
The official added: “The president has been very clear on this issue that he wants to focus on criminals and convicted individuals and folks who pose public safety threats.”
The true aim of the memos and the stance of the government are yet to be brought into light, but this can potentially damage the economy and break up families.