White House lawyers have strengthened two immigration enforcement memos from the Department of Homeland Security which end President Barack Obama’s catch-and-release border policies.
The comprehensive border security reforms of Obama’s pro-migration policies were signed by DHS chief Gen. John Kelly on Feb. 17. After a review by White House lawyers, the memos were changed to give officials more leeway in enforcing immigration laws, and more authority to close a back-door “advance parole” amnesty created by Obama.
The final memos implement most of President Donald Trump’s popular promises to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, and to accelerate repatriation of criminal illegal immigrants — but are being loudly criticized by amnesty advocates.
However, the memos also postpone action on his promise to end Obama’s 2012 mini-amnesty for younger illegals, his promise to reform the H-1B contract worker program that has now provide work permits for roughly 650,000 foreign graduates in the United States, and his call for a reduction in the annual inflow of 1 million legal immigrants.
The memos direct DHS officials to use an expedited repatriation process for illegals who have been in the United States for up to two years, to return border-crossing Mexicans home while their appeals for entry are adjudicated, and to prosecute illegal aliens who hire migrant-smugglers to get their children into the United States. Under Obama, officials were only allowed to use the expedited repatriation process for illegals who arrived within the prior two weeks. Also at Obama’s direction, border-crossers were released into the United States while border officials considered the appeals for asylum, and border officials were required to partner with the people-smuggling coyotes by delivering their cargo—the foreign youths and children—from the borders to their illegal-alien parents residing throughout the United States.
The Kelly memos also revive the 287(g) program, which helps state and local police force work with DHS agents to enforce the nation’s popular immigration laws. Obama shuttered the 287(g) program in 2014. The memos direct officials to hire an additional 15,500 immigration officers, and to start building the border fence.
The first memo, titled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” is six pages long and says that “personnel shall faithfully executive the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.”
The second memo is focused on immigration enforcement far from the border. The second memo is 13 pages long and is titled “Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.”
Some changes were made to the memos after they were signed by Kelly. For example, the phrase “In my judgment, such [advance parole] authority should be exercised sparingly,” was added to the section in the border security memo that shuts down Obama’s backdoor “advance parole” amnesty process.
The enforcement memo adds a section giving mid-level officials more authority to enforce the law, saying “the Director of ICE, the Commissioner of CBP, and the Director of USCIS may, as they determine is appropriate, issue further guidance to allocate appropriate resources to prioritize enforcement activities within these categories-for example, by prioritizing enforcement activities against removable aliens who are convicted felons or who are involved in gang activity or drug trafficking.”
The annual inflow of legal immigrants and contract workers adds roughly 2 million wage-reducing workers to the labor supply each year, even though 4 million young Americans also begin looking for work each year. In contrast, illegal immigration adds only several hundred thousand workers to the estimated population of at least 11 million illegal aliens each year. The overall inflow of legal and illegal foreign workers transfers roughly $500 billion from employee’s pockets each year to employers and investors.
For complete details about the memos, read this.