Feb 21, 2017 - Politics & Policy

What to know from the DHS immigration memos

Evan Vucc / AP

Today the Department of Homeland Security released two memos, signed by Secretary John Kelly, which outline how the DHS will roll out President Trump's immigration executive orders from last month.

  1. DREAMers are left alone, the only immigration policy carry over from the Obama administration.
  2. There's a new office for victims of violence by immigrants: Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, (VOICE), will work with victims of illegal immigrants, giving them updates on the status of their attackers and answering any questions or concerns they have. President Trump has often pointed to incidents where U.S. citizens have been victimized by undocumented immigrants as reasons to implement tougher immigration reform.
  3. Deportation priority is given to convicted criminals: But non-criminal illegal aliens are still subject to deportation. Exemptions are on a case-by-case basis.
  4. About those immigrant roundups: Although the memo allows Department personnel "to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws," DHS officials told WSJ that there would not be any roundups of law-abiding undocumented immigrations.
  5. Hiring: 5,000 border control officers and 10,000 ICE officers. Currently, there are about 20,000 border control officers, according to Politifact, and ICE has more than 20,000 employees, according to their website. Spicer said Tuesday he didn't know where the money would come to pay for these hires, but the administration and Congress would work to figure it out.
  6. Parents who help bring their children to the U.S. illegally will face prosecution.
  7. And about the wall: It's going to be built, but the memos don't clarify that it has to be a literal wall across the entire border. It calls for the wall to be built in "the most appropriate locations" and with the "appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the border."
  8. There won't be National Guard involvement: The memo empowers local law enforcement to act as immigration officers, but DHS officials told reporters on Tuesday that National Guard troops won't be deployed to round up immigrants.
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