The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday November 29th

U.S. Sec. of Homeland Security issues information on Trump's executive orders on immigration

Guidance from U.S. Sec. of Homeland Security John Kelley dated Feb. 20 aims to enforce President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration and border security — strengthening border enforcement and restricting privacy of undocumented immigrants. 

Kelly’s first memorandum, which responds to Trump’s “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” executive order, said detention facilities for those apprehended at the border are crucial.

“Policies that facilitate the release of removable aliens apprehended at and between the ports of entry, which allow them to abscond and fail to appear at their removal hearings, undermine the border security mission,” Kelly said in the memorandum. “Such policies, collectively referred to as “catch-and-release,” shall end.”

During former President Barack Obama's administration, 287(g) agreements, which authorized local law enforcement to take part in the federal enforcement of illegal immigration, were scaled back.

But Kelly said these relationships with "willing and qualified" state and local law enforcement agencies are crucial to the successful enforcement of immigration policies.

“Aliens who engage in criminal conduct are priorities for arrest and removal and will often be encountered by state and local law enforcement officers during the course of their routine duties,” he said.

Kelly ordered funds to be reallocated from programs providing resources for undocumented immigrants to a new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office in a second memorandum.

Also subject to change are privacy rights afforded to undocumented immigrants, the memorandum explained. 

“The Department will no longer afford Privacy Act rights and protections to persons who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents," Kelly said.

The Priority Enforcement Program, in place during the previous administration, failed and added ambiguity for the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly said in the second memorandum.

“Criminal aliens have demonstrated their disregard for the rule of law and pose a threat to persons residing in the United States,” he said. “As such, criminal aliens are a priority for removal.”

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