White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave an overview of memos related to President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security.
The Department of Homeland Security issued new directives Tuesday to increase deportations among the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Here is a look at past policy and how President Trump’s administration is expanding enforcement in five areas:
Past: A process known as an “expedited removal” was used mostly along the southwest border under President Obama. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) and Border Patrols agents were able to quickly deport undocumented immigrants caught within 100 miles of the border who had arrived in the U.S. in the previous two weeks.
Now: All federal immigration officers can now conduct an “expedited removal” anywhere in the U.S. against people who arrived in the U.S. in the previous two years. That will mean fewer opportunities for undocumented immigrants to appear before an immigration judge.
MORE AGENTS, JAILS, JUDGES
Past: Under Obama, most undocumented immigrants caught entering the country were placed in detention or released on bond while their deportation cases proceeded. That practice, dubbed “catch and release,” led to many undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and skipping out on their court cases.
Now: People caught entering the country will be placed in jail while their deportation cases are processed. Homeland Security plans to hire 10,000 ICE agents and build new detention facilities along the southwest border, and more immigration judges and staff will be hired to speed up cases.
RETURN TO MEXICO
Past: When people reached the U.S. and applied for political asylum or refugee status, they were allowed into the country to await resolution of their request. For example, tens of thousands of women and children have poured across the southwest border from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala seeking protection from their crime-ridden countries.
Now: Federal immigration officials can send those people back to Mexico, even if they’re not from there. The U.S. will work with Mexico’s government to set up such a system.
DEPUTIZE LOCAL POLICE
Past: Obama mostly phased out a program that allows ICE agents to “deputize” local police officers as immigration agents. That program is opposed by many immigration advocacy groups and police chiefs, who say it reduces immigrant communities’ trust in their local police.
Now: The program will be expanded so ICE can train as many local police officers as possible. Customs and Border Protection also can deputize officers, with a focus on the four border states: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
EXPAND THE WALL
Past: Congress in 2006 passed the Secure Fence Act, which allowed for the construction of 700 miles of walls, fences and other barriers along the nearly 2,000-mile border. The work is nearly completed.
Now: The government must complete that fencing and begin planning for an expansion, estimated to cost up to $21.6 billion to complete.