Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been instructed to place any undocumented immigrant they come across in deportation proceedings regardless of their criminal history, revealed an internal agency memo obtained by ProPublica.
“Effective immediately, ERO officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties,” mentioned the head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations, Matthew Albence, in a February memo.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been pushing immigration officials to be tougher on the undocumented immigrants – especially towards those with a criminal history. Ironically, the stance revealed in the memo appears to be even harsher then what Trump has spoken about immigrants in general on many public platforms.
The memo includes a priority list of undocumented immigrants that are supposed to be detained and put in removal proceedings by the ERO officers. The list appears to be broad enough to cover all categories of undocumented immigrants, including those who in the immigration officer’s judgment could “pose a risk to public safety or national security.”
It means without prove and without criminal background checks, officials can now detain and deport undocumented immigrants just on the basis of suspicion.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who has also been a vocal supporter of Trump’s travel ban, also disagreed with the president’s plan to conduct a military operation against immigrants.
"Everything we do in DHS will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the United States," Kelly said in Mexico.
According to some reports, the memo was circulated five months ago internally and has been followed closely since then.
This is all very alarming for all the immigrants suffering under Trump’s authoritative approach, which is mostly ill-informed.
Some 90,000 people who obtained non-immigrant or immigrant visas from the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban are at a risk of being detained. According to a report, in the 2017 fiscal year (which started on October 2016), at least 6 detainees have died so far. These people were detained at different U.S. immigrant detention facilities. In fiscal year 2016, there were 12 custody deaths whereas there were seven deaths in FY 2015.