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DHS details new guidelines for deporting immigrants

[JURIST] John Kelly [official profile], Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website], signed several memos [text, PDF] on Friday detailing plans to facilitate the detention and deportation of immigrants in the US illegally. According to the guidelines, DHS hopes [WP report] to further enforce immigration laws by increasing the number of immigrants targeted for primary removal and expediting removal hearings. DHS may also hire more enforcement agents and work with local authorities to make more arrest. The guidelines call for authorities to use expedited removal procedures, and immigrants hoping to avoid removal will need to prove that they have resided in the country continuously for two years. Regarding those seeking asylum, DHS is expected to tighten the "credible fear" threshold required to enter the country. Regarding parol, the new policies may cause more immigrants to be detained during the period between arrest and court. Should the DHS policies take effect, they would largely supersede [CNN report] former president Barack Obama's prior immigration orders. The new policies may still preserve Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [materials], which offers protection to immigrants who entered the US illegally as children. Currently the guidelines are unpublished, and therefore the DHS policies are still subject to change. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] has since condemned [press release] the policies and warned that it may take future action if necessary.

The DHS policies are part of a larger overhaul of the country's approach to immigration undertaken by the new administration, largely departing from the policies of other post-WWII presidents [JURIST commentary]. In late January President Trump signed an executive order [JURIST commentary] to restrict travel to the US from certain countries and putting in place a temporary halt on refugees entering the US. Only a day later, a judge for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay [JURIST report], temporarily preventing execution of the law, until the question of whether it applied to valid visa holders could be resolved. Earlier this month the Ninth Circuit upheld [JURIST report] a district court decision to block enforcement of the executive order nationwide. The proceedings regarding the order have been temporarily stopped [JURIST report], as Trump has announced that he will sign a new order on the issue soon.

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