Major changes are underway at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), a new report finds.
In a piece by USA Today, it is revealed that under the direction of Secretary John Kelly, the lax Obama-era guidelines for DHS attorneys in immigration court have been thrown out, resulting in the department seeking deportation for “nearly every immigration case”:
The new directives vastly broaden the pool of undocumented immigrants considered for deportation. The result has been a jarring shift in which the government seeks deportation in nearly every immigration case, said Clarel Cyriaque, a defense attorney who represents Haitians in South Florida. Dozens of his clients were under consideration for prosecutorial discretion based on their years in the U.S., steady employment and clean records.
“That’s off the table now,” he said. “As soon as Trump took office, everything stopped. They got new marching orders. Their prime directive now is enforcement, as opposed to exercising discretion that would help good people.”
Homeland Security says its attorneys can still practice discretion on a case-by-case basis. But a statement released after Trump signed his executive order on immigration in January states, “With extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement.”
Unlike President Donald Trump’s administration, the Obama administration asked DHS attorneys to only seek deportations of criminal illegal immigrants, whereas Trump’s DHS sees every illegal immigrant as a law-breaker.
“Homeland Security says its attorneys can still practice discretion on a case-by-case basis,” the USA Today report notes. “But a statement released after Trump signed his executive order on immigration in January states, ‘With extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement.’”
Aside from DHS attorneys being more likely now to push for the deportation of almost every illegal immigrant, whether or a violent crime is a factor, immigration judges are also setting higher bonds; preventing them from being released and then fleeing to unknown locations, attorney Yanci Montes told USA Today.
Sessions’ DOJ has quickly identified the backlog problem in the immigration system, where illegal immigrants are detained in the U.S. for sometimes three years before having their case heard by an immigration judge.
As Breitbart Texas reported, the Trump Administration is moving 50 judges to detention facilities in areas like Adelanto and San Diego, California; as well as Chicago, Illinois. The DOJ budget also asks for funds to hire an additional 75 judges.
There are more than 500,000 pending immigration court cases for illegal immigrants, as Breitbart Texas reported.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.