Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 16, 2017 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced new policies to implement executive orders from President Trump on immigration enforcement.
A February 21, 2017 memorandum states that Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers will take enforcement action against any removable aliens they come into contact with while executing their normal responsibilities. In adhering to the executive orders, no categories of removable aliens will be exempt from enforcement. In addition, the ICE policy calls for prioritizing the removal of aliens who have been involved in criminal or fraudulent activity.
The logistics of the policy are the challenge.
“How will ICE balance its stated goal of prioritizing removal of criminal aliens (the “bad hombres”) against ICE’s new policy of taking enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties?” asked Stewart Rabinowitz, a prominent Dallas, Texas immigration attorney. “How many fewer criminal, removable aggravated felon aliens will ICE catch if it must pursue a removable but non-criminal alien who comes to ICE’s attention for failure to pay a parking ticket?”
President Trump intended to halt ICE’s “catch and release” procedure, under which undocumented immigrants who were detained but determined not to pose a security risk were set free while waiting for an immigration court date. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in April, 2017, that the catch and release policy had been “ended.” ICE agents interviewed by reporters at the border say that procedures have not changed, due to a lack of clear guidelines and a shortage of detention space.
The February memorandum stated that ICE “is currently expanding detention space” to support the termination of “catch and release” policies. To date, though, ICE still releases migrants who are determined to pose little risk because there are not enough beds in detention facilities to hold them.
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