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Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump's Executive Orders Dramatically Expand Power of Immigration Officers

CNN reports:

The immigration executive orders signed by President Donald Trump this week could amount to a vast expansion of authority for individual immigration officers and a dramatic increase in efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants.

The order lays out a series of categories of undocumented immigrants that immigration law enforcement officials should prioritize for removing from the country, a reaction to what was criticized by the right as lax enforcement of immigration law by former President Barack Obama.
But experts say the descriptions include virtually every person in the country illegally and give broad latitude to individual immigration officers to decide who should be detained for deportation...

Trump's order goes far beyond that, using a sweeping definition of "criminal" and giving a single immigration officer the ability to make judgments on threats to public safety...

The order says the priority will be removing deportable immigrants who "have been convicted of any criminal offense; have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency; have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security."

The order labels each category "A" through "G," but doesn't make explicit whether they are in decreasing order of significance or equal...

Trump has said that such individuals are not his priority, that he wants to focus on removing "bad dudes." Nevertheless, his sweeping executive order would seemingly allow for anyone to be detained for removal proceedings, even if they have only been suspected of committing a crime, including misdemeanors, or of being a threat.

"I think it covers just about every illegal alien in the country," said Hans von Spakovsky, a legal expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, which has been strongly influential on Trump's policy. "It's also very clear that the No. 1 priority is people who have been charged and convicted with criminal offenses, and that's the kind of violent criminals who should be out of the country."...

Washington University law professor Stephen Legomsky...and other experts believe the order places tremendous authority on individual ICE agents and divisions...

The new enforcement priorities, and the additional 10,000 immigration officers prescribed by the orders, are presumably designed to give ICE what it wants -- more authority...

"The language here, the fact that it says 'in the judgment of an immigration officer,' that doesn't suggest there's going to be supervisory review, it strongly suggests this is going to be the judgment of officers in the field and they'll have broad discretion about when and where to arrest someone and bring proceedings," said John Sandweg, now at a crisis management firm...

 Trump's orders call for an increase in detention facilities and judges to be assigned to those facilities...

1 comment:

  1. Because you know expanding the powers of those who have badges never, ever gets abused and never leads to personal vendettas or mission creep.

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