Key points from the DHS guidance on the Jan. 25 executive order on interior enforcement
The following is a simple summary of the main points of the enforcement guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security Feb. 20 and DHS fact sheets of Feb. 21. More detailed legal analysis will follow.
- With extremely limited exceptions, no class of aliens is exempt from removal.
- However, although no class of aliens is exempt from removal, enforcement priorities include noncitizens who: 1) have been convicted of any criminal offense, 2) have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved, 3) have committed acts which constitute a chargeable criminal offense, 4) have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter before a government agency, 5) have knowingly abused any program related to receipt of public benefits, 6) have received a final removal order of removal but are still present in the U.S., 7) pose a risk to public safety or national security in the judgment of an immigration officer.
- Transnational gangs and other organized crime will be specifically targeted for enforcement.
- Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, maintains case-by-case enforcement discretion but again, no class of aliens is exempt. DHS General Counsel is instructed to issue additional guidance.
- Directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to carry out enforcement actions within 180 days of the date of the memorandum (Feb. 20) implementing the new enforcement priorities.
- Instructs DHS personnel to immediately reinstate the Secure Communities Program, including creating new forms to improve the effectiveness of detainers.
- Instructs DHS to work to identify incarcerated people who may be removed.
- Instructs DHS to affirmatively reach out to local law enforcement to enter into 287(g) agreements and other collaborative measures.
- DHS has full authority to arrest or apprehend people who immigration officers have probable cause to believe are in violation of immigration laws.
- DHS will work to ensure the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses.
- Establishes the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office.
- Calls for hiring 10,000 immigration enforcement officers and support staff as quickly as possible, while maintaining consistency in training and other standards. The Q & A released by DHS do not include a specific timeline for hiring new officers only that “ICE is working on implementing a hiring plan.”
- Directs DHS to create regulations to ensure the collection of all fines and penalties from undocumented immigrants and those who facilitate their presence in the U.S.
- DHS will no longer afford Privacy Act rights to non-citizens and non-lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in its records.
- Requires DHS officials to develop a system to collect and report data on enforcement arrests for publicly available monthly reports.
- Directs DHS to take steps to penalize countries that do not accept deported nationals.
- DHS will continue to consult with outside stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations.