Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Enforcing Immigration Laws: DHS Order to Prioritize Deportation of Criminal Illegal Aliens, End to “Catch-and-Release”

    By Neil A. Carousso

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary General John Kelly moved to implement President Donald J. Trump’s immigration policies, namely prioritizing criminal illegal immigrants, hiring more immigration officers, officially ending the “catch-and-release” policies, and beginning to execute the president’s plans to build a wall on U.S. southern border.

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary General John Kelly (
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary General John Kelly (

    “It is in the national interest of the United States to prevent criminals and criminal organizations from destabilizing border security,” wrote Kelly in one of two memos released by DHS on Tuesday.

    The agencies “going back to our traditional roots” on enforcement said a Homeland Security official.

    The key points in the DHS memo include:

    -Prioritizing criminal illegal immigrants and others for deportation, including those convicted or charged with “any criminal offense,” or who have “abused” any public welfare program

    -Expanding expedited removal provisions to aliens who have not been admitted or paroled into the U.S. This excludes unaccompanied minors, those who intend to apply for asylum or have a fear of persecution or torture in their home countries.

    -Expanding the 287(g) program, which allows participating local officers to act as immigration agents – and had been rolled back under the Obama administration

    -Starting the planning, design and construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall with mostly American materials being made to construct the wall

    -Identifying and quantifying indirect and direct sources of aid to Mexico during each of the last five fiscal years

    -“Hiring 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers”

    -Hiring 5,000 Border Patrol agents

    -Commissioning a comprehensive study of border security (air, land and maritime) to “identify vulnerabilities and provide recommendations to enhance border security.” The study will include the “availability of federal and state resources to develop and implement an effective border security strategy that will achieve complete operational control of the border.”

    -Ending “catch-and-release” policies (ended in 2006 under President George W. Bush, but was continued under President Barack Obama) under which illegal immigrants subject to deportation potentially are allowed to “abscond” and fail to appear at removal hearings

    -“Putting into place accountability measures to protect alien children from exploitation and prevent abuses of immigration laws. The smuggling or trafficking of alien children into the United States puts those children at grave risk of violence and sexual exploitation. CBP and ICE will ensure the proper enforcement of our immigration laws against those who facilitate such smuggling or trafficking.”

    “DREAMers” in DACA and White House Intentions:

    So-called DREAMers are not affected by the memos. DREAMers are defined in President Barack Obama’s June 2012 policy “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA)  as undocumented immigrants to the United States who entered the country as minors. Children, under DACA, have been granted a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility.


    Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions from the press on Tuesday (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
    Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions from the press on Tuesday (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

    “The message from this White House and from the DHS is those people who are in this country and pose a threat to our public safety or have committed a crime will be the first to go and we will aggressively be making sure that that occurs. That is what the priority is,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at his Tuesday press briefing, making it clear that the DHS memos and President Trump policies are not of mass deportations.

    “Everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time,” Spicer said. “That is consistent with every country, not just ours. If you’re in this country in an illegal manner, then obviously there’s a provision that could ensure that you be removed.

    Illegal Immigration Statistics:

    In fiscal years 2010-2014, 121 aliens were released from custody and later charged with a homicide-related offense. In fiscal year 2015, 15,715 offenders were convicted of illegal reentry, accounting for 82 percent of immigration offenders sentenced. Under 300 jurisdictions in the United States, illegal immigrants are granted sanctuary in which cities and states disobey federal immigration law.

    An overwhelming number of voters say local authorities should be required to comply with federal immigration law. A Harvard-Harris Poll survey provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters are against sanctuary cities.

    A Pew Research Center report released earlier this month, reveals that an estimated 2.5 million immigrants in the country illegally live in the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – all cities that have vowed to fight President Trump’s enforcement of immigration law.

    recent U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement operation removed criminal illegal immigrant fugitives in New York, arresting criminals with an array of sexual assault, rape, drugs, DUI, robbery, larceny and other criminal offenses including reentry upon final orders of removal and an MS-13 gang member.

    In New York City, an illegal immigrant MS-13 gang member was allowed to be released under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “sanctuary city” policy. There was a federal petition to hold him for deportation, according to officials. Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez was set free from Rikers Island on February 16 after serving time for disorderly conduct. ICE officials requested last May that the gang member be turned over to immigration officials when he finished serving his sentence. An immigration judge ordered his removal in November 2015.

    “This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for the New York Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit. “Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe.”

    ICE sent in their own agents to find Velasquez the same day in Queens.

    In another recent case, a 19-year-old murder suspect in Denver is in jail with another man for the killing of 32-year-old Tim Cruz on February 7. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on the murder suspect after being arrested by Denver police in October 2016 for car theft and other charges. ICE wanted to be notified of any pending release because he was suspected of being in the U.S. illegally from Mexico.

    "Angel mom" Laura Wilkerson (Screen-grab/Fox News YouTube channel)
    “Angel mom” Laura Wilkerson (Screen-grab/Fox News YouTube channel)

    “Somebody’s gonna be inconvenienced, said “angel mom” Laura Wilkerson on a Fox News Channel’s special immigration townhall on”First 100 Days,” hosted by Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night. “Y’know, without the immigration laws being enforced, this country has run amok. And any way that he does it, there’s gonna be an inconvenience to people. But for myself, if you’re not burying your child in the ground and turning around and walking away, it’s not an inconvenience you can’t deal with.”

    Wilkerson’s son Joshua was murdered by an illegal immigrant, a “DREAMer,” in November 2010.

    The 680 illegal immigrants detained in recent ICE sweeps represent just .07 percent of the 950,062 with deportation orders as of May 21, 2016, according to statistics provided to Congress. There are an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants with criminal records in addition to their illegal status. The Trump Administration is making the criminal illegal aliens a priority for swift removal in order to protect the United States from preventable crime.

    The number of southwest border patrol agents are down nearly 1,600 from an all-time peak of 18,611 in the fiscal year of 2013.

    The United States gave $175 million in aid to Mexico from 2014-2016 with 45 percent of the aid going to “democracy, human rights and governance” and 9 percent of Mexican aid towards “peace and security.” President Trump has promised to have Mexico pay for the border wall by using aid funds, reducing the trade deficit between the two countries or other diplomatic measures. The wall is addressed in the DHS memo.

    Immigration and Refugee Suspension from Terror-Riddled Nations:

    The Homeland Security memos come after President Trump’s January 27th executive order that suspended immigration for 90 days and refugees for 120 days from six terror nations – Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Yemen and Libya – and an indefinite suspension on immigration and refugees coming from war-torn Syria with the intent to build safe zones in Syria for victims. A national halt on the order was placed by U.S. District Judge James Robart a week later. Robart’s stay was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals with two judges appointed by Democrat presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. The courts have not ruled on the executive order’s Constitutionality.


    President Trump Holds Rally In Melbourne, Florida
    President Trump speaks at a rally in Melbourne, FL on Saturday (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

    President Trump has said as the Chief Executive, he has the authority to suspend immigration if he has reason to believe that the nation’s national security is in jeopardy.

    8 U.S. Code § 1182 on “Inadmissible aliens” reads in part:

    “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.” – Abridged 8 U.S. Code § 1182

    The president is also granted authority by the U.S. Constitution to protect the country from “domestic violence.”

    “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.” – Article IV, Section 4 of The Constitution of the United States of America

    President Trump is expected to rescind his original immigration suspension executive order that is currently tied up in the courts and release a revised executive order later this week or next week that will suspend immigration and refugees from terror-riddled nations that do not communicate about travelers to the United States government. Communication about travelers between countries is customary so that nations can prepare for any potential terrorist threats. The new order is likely to have an exemption for green card holders and a revision of the indefinite nature of the Syrian immigration and refugee program suspensions.

    The temporary immigration suspension is intended to provide the Chief Executive and his national security team, led by newly appointed National Security Director General H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary General James Mattis, time to develop and implement a comprehensive and effective “extreme vetting” policy. President Trump signed a memorandum on January 28th that mandates that his top national security advisors develop a plan within 30-days, by Monday, February 27, to defeat ISIS.

    Featured Image Courtesy: CBS News

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