Highlights of DHS’ Feb. 2017 Internal Enforcement Memorandum:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to implement a deportation system that attorneys and advocates are calling the administration’s blueprint for a deportation force within the United States. According to the Memorandum signed on Feb. 17, 2017 and rolled out on Feb. 21, 2017, DHS shall, “effective immediately,” faithfully execute U.S. immigration laws against “all removable aliens” and will no longer “exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is directed to initiate removal proceedings against “any alien subject to removal under any provision of the INA” and refer appropriate cases for criminal prosecution. NOTE: While the Memorandum does not specifically revoke the protections provided to Dreamers under the DACA program, there are now confirmed reports of ICE agents revoking DACA. A DACA beneficiary in Wichita, Kansas, who is not the subject of any criminal prosecution was placed in removal proceedings this month of February and his work permit was confiscated.
While the DHS Memorandum pretends to focus on criminal and safety or security threats, it is worded to include even minor infractions such as jaywalking or driving without a license; it is applicable to anyone ICE accuses of engaging in fraud or willful misrepresentation “in connection with any official matter before a government agency,” such as use or possession of a fake social security document; it applies to anyone charged with abusing any program related to receipt of public benefits; and it can be applied to all undocumented individuals under the presumption that they committed the chargeable offense of improper entry into the United States. There are also no exceptions for anyone charged with a criminal offense, but subsequently acquitted of the charges or not subject to criminal prosecution.
The Memorandum directs DHS agencies to make full use of all statutory authorities for removing aliens “expeditiously,” i.e. without seeing a judge or granted a hearing! Expedited removal was previously utilized within 100 miles of our land borders, but will now be used anywhere within the United States against any undocumented immigrant who cannot prove they have been in the country for a significant period of time! Bypassing immigration courts and allowing ICE officers to act as judge and jury will fast-track removals, block access to counsel, and deny the opportunity to seek deportation relief and protections like asylum that are guaranteed under U.S. law. The DHS Memorandum further directs the use of other “administrative removal processes” such as a “stipulated removal,” which is a rapid removal procedure while the individual is detained and unable to obtain legal counsel before agreeing to their expeditious removal.
The new DHS Memo restores the Secure Communities program which requires local law enforcement to share with DHS information about individuals in its custody, and authorizes DHS to issue detainers to local jails and correctional facilities for the purpose of holding an individual beyond the scheduled release date and until ICE can take custody.
Enforcement Targets are encouraged to obtain the following documents to establish their long term presence in the United States:
- Identity – Passport, Consular ID Cards, School Ids, Drivers License or State ID
- Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident ( Birth certificates – applicants & children)
- Proof of Continuous residence in the United States for at least 2 years
- Criminal Records if you have been the VICTIM, or arrested or charged with a crime by the police for review by a licensed immigration attorney.
1. Print the Safety Plan posted on our Facebook page, share it, and put the plan in place.
English Version: https://www.facebook.com/notes/immigration-advocacy-network/safetyplan/1024700264322646
2. Sit down with a licensed Immigration Lawyer to find out what else you can do to legally resolve your immigration situation. Do not consult with a Notario or anyone not authorized to practice law. For Legal Assistance in Kansas, Get Help Here, or at https://www.immi.org/Info/FindLegalHelp
3. Avoid getting arrested because if you are arrested by the police for ANY reason, even if the charge does not result in a conviction, you will come to the attention of ICE through a DETAINER.
4. If you do get arrested, do NOT sign anything without first talking to a lawyer.
5. Tell your adult U.S. Citizen family members, friends, neighbors and church members to #StandUP for you; to publicize any arrests or raids; to #SpeakUp for you publicly; and to contact their members of Congress, and state lawmakers to denounce the tyrannical and insidious actions authorized by the executive actions which give ICE abusive powers, and destroy the safety nets of immigrant families, only to enrich the private prison industry.
If your senators and reps aren’t saved in your phone yet, text your zip code to 520-200-2223. You’ll immediately get a text back with everyone’s contact info, INCLUDING your STATE senator and representative.
-Sandrine Lisk, Esq., Director
Immigration Advocacy Network