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Trump administration rewrites the rules with sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants

Now, illegal immigrants who are suspected of a crime will be a top priority for deportation.

File photo
File photo
Image: Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is greatly expanding the number of people living in the US illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, including people arrested for traffic violations, according to agency documents released today.

The documents represent a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s immigration enforcement priorities.

The Homeland Security Department memos, signed by Secretary John Kelly, lay out that any immigrant living in the United States illegally who has been charged or convicted of any crime — and even those suspected of a crime — will now be an enforcement priority.

That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor traffic offenses.

However, categories of illegal immigrants deemed as low priority by the previous Barack Obama administration – generally anyone not tied to a crime – are no longer protected.

“With extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement,” the department said.

All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States.

Kelly ordered immediate action to begin planning and building a wall along the US southern border with Mexico.

He also ordered the hiring of another 5,000 officers for the Customs and Border Protection agency and 10,000 for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The orders effectively launch into action President Donald Trump’s promise to begin deporting millions of immigrants, mainly from Mexico and Central America, who had been tolerated during the Obama administration as law-abiding, longtime residents.

With reporting from the Associated Press

© – AFP 2017

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