President Trump's Executive Action on Immigration
On Wednesday January 25, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order,
Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States ,” announcing a massive expansion in interior immigration enforcement.
On February 20, 2017, DHS Secretary John Kelly issued a memorandum outlining
an implementation plan for that Executive Order titled
“Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve National Interest"
The Memorandum rescinded, to the extent they conflict, all prior executive
orders and memos. However, the Memorandum also states that the DACA Memo
is NOT rescinded. The memo makes it clear that the administration is now
targeting all undocumented immigrants.
- The higest priority are the following:
- Individuals that have been convicted of any criminal offense;
- Have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;
- Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
- Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any
official matter before a government agency;
- Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
- Are subject to a final order of removal, but have not departed;
- Otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.
The Memorandum rescinds the pre-existing guidance on prosecutorial discretion
and directs that discretion may not be exercised for classes or categories
of noncitizens, except as otherwise provided in the Memorandum (referring
to DACA). Instead, it directs DHS personnel to arrest, apprehend, and
initiate enforcement actions against “any alien whom an immigration
officer has probable cause to believe” has violated the immigration
laws. This language makes clear that everyone is a priority and amounts
to a widespread deportation plan.
DHS is also directed to initiate removal proceedings against “any
alien subject to removal under any provision of the INA” and refer
appropriate cases for criminal prosecution. Prosecutorial discretion,
when used, is to be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation
with the head of the field office component that initiated the enforcement
action, regardless of which entity actually files the charging document.
DHS General Counsel will issue additional guidance on prosecutorial discretion
for attorneys involved in immigration proceedings.
contact The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. if you would like to find out more about the memo and how to protect yourself
or your family members.
 Immigration enforcement priorities encompass many categories in Jeh
John's Memorandom, "Policies for the Apprehension, Detention,
and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants" (Nov. 20, 2014).