The Trump Administration has continued to make good on its process to roll out tougher enforcement of immigration law, primarily by removing the barriers to deportation that were established by Obama-era policies. As immigration attorneys, it’s our job to stay abreast of these developments-and we know that keeping you informed is just as important.
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security released two memos explaining the new resources and parameters that ICE and U.S. Border Patrol would be working within. Below, we take a look at the highlights:
Increased Number of Agents & Officers
Both memos approve the hiring of 15,000 new agents for Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol-10,000 for ICE and 5,000 for Border Patrol.
Increased Detention for Undocumented Immigrants
The DHS employs a policy known as “catch-and-release,” essentially allowing undocumented immigrants to seek parole until their court date. The new policy makes detention the preferred solution-making use of immigrant detention facilities around the nation that already exist.
Increased Speculation for Asylum Seekers
Asylum officers have been given increased license to question the validity and truth of an asylum-seeker’s “credible fear” before granting entry. Previous policy was far less stringent about investigating the claim of credible fear-so long as it met certain criteria, it was considered credible.
Stricter Classification of “Unaccompanied Alien Child”
The DHS believes that the current classification of an unaccompanied minor allowed undocumented immigrants to abuse a humanitarian policy. This has led them to create a stricter understanding of what constitutes an “unaccompanied alien child.”
The Trump Administration has thus far continued to leave certain Obama-era policies alone, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that granted deferment to undocumented immigrants brought here as children.
Some attorneys believe that the Trump Administration needs to hire more immigration judges to expedite the process and ensure enforcement-not agents. It already takes over 2 years for an undocumented immigrant to have their case heard before a judge. Increased enforcement without an increase in judicial staff can only mean a longer wait-not a “more secure” system.
If you have any immigration questions or are unsure of your legal options as an undocumented immigrant, call our Lincoln immigration attorneys. We offer free and confidential consultations to bring you clarity and understanding. Contact Monzón, Guerra & Chipman today.