We have to say that’s pretty sneaky Department of Homeland Security, pretty sneaky…
When a government agency sends an important policy memo so close to Christmas, it can’t possibly be good news. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did just that by releasing a memo stating that starting in January, through Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), they would be deporting 100,000 individuals that are currently living illegally in the US. Here’s our 10-Point Expert on the DHS initiative.
Point 1: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced around Christmas Day, that starting as early as January, they would start deporting many families from Central America that came to the United States starting last year. It would be the first large-scale deportation initiative by the US in years.
Point 2: The nationwide campaign will be enforced by US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents and is the first large-scale deportation initiative in years.
Point 3: More than 100,000 families and individuals – that include children – would be targeted. ICE insists that many of these individuals have been ordered by an immigration judge to leave the US, so the ones targeted by DHS would already be familiar with the deportation process. Which to be clear, doesn’t make it any of this easier for those being deported…
Point 4: This all started in the summer of 2014, when the US started to get a spike in individuals, specifically coming from countries in South America. Many of these individuals are children, fleeing countries like Honduras, where street gang violence has become so bad that they feel their lives are at risk.
Point 5: The federal government was overwhelmed by the number of individuals coming into the US illegally in 2014 that they were simply released being told to appear in immigration court to determine their status at a later date. According to DHS, many of them just didn’t show up to their hearings, which in turn had their asylum requests rejected and ordered deported by immigration judges.
Point 6: However many immigration proponents say the majority of people that are coming from Central America should actually be gaining refugee status since they are fleeing violence from these countries. These groups go even further stating that many of them didn’t even get proper representation during their hearings at immigration court.
Point 7: Currently many of these individuals are being housed as what DHS refers to as “family detention centers.” As of last month, DHS suspects that there are currently more than 1,700 people living in these facilities.
Point 8: Originally President Barack Obama had issued an executive order to protect over 5 million of these families from deportation, along with his administration emphasizing that these families should be integrated into American society rather than being deported. But with the courts blocking President Obama’s executive order and a recent wave of anti-immigration sentiment bubbling to the surface, the Obama Administration’s initial immigration sentiments, that focused on leniency for the individual’s fleeing Central America, may have been pushed aside for the time being.
Point 9: As for reactions from the 2016 presidential candidates, both sides look to be unhappy with the move. Democrats in the presidential primary field have all raised concerns over the DHS’ handling of the influx of illegal immigrants thus far. While Republicans in the GOP primary insist that DHS’ actions are “just for show” and that they don’t go far enough. While others are just taking credit for it because… why not?
Does everyone see that the Democrats and President Obama are now, because of me, starting to deport people who are here illegally. Politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2015
Point 10: In many ways this is a real bad situation for everyone involved. The Obama Administration – along with government agencies like the DHS – are put in a precarious situation of handling the influx of illegal immigrants entering the US from Central America. Any decision taken – whether they’re actions are toward asylum or deportation – will get criticized by multiple parties that have a stake in the situation. Hence why you had a policy memo from the DHS sent so close to Christmas hoping the news would just fly under the radar. Regardless of the DHS’ actions, the topic of illegal immigration isn’t going anywhere.
(Photo Credits: Google Images, Twitter)