US President Donald Trump’s administration plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation but will leave protections in place for immigrants known as “dreamers” who entered the country illegally as children, according to official guidelines released on Tuesday.
The Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader plan for border security and immigration enforcement in executive orders that Trump signed on Jan. 25, Reuters reports.
Former president Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2012 that protected 750,000 immigrants who had been brought into the United States illegally by their parents. Trump has said the issue is “very difficult” for him.
The Republican president campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, playing on fears of violent crime while promising to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to stop potential terrorists from entering the country.
DHS officials, speaking on a conference call with reporters, said that although any immigrant in the country illegally could be deported, the agency will prioritize those deemed as posing a threat.
These include recent entrants, those convicted of a crime and people charged but not convicted. Some details of the guidelines were detailed in a draft memo seen on Saturday.
Many of the instructions will not be implemented immediately because they depend on Congress, a public comment period or negotiations with other nations, the officials said. Mexican immigration officials immediately objected to part of the new rules.
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