World

Trump could expand groups of immigrants to be deported

US administration reportedly reviewing memos before implementing immigration executive orders

WASHINGTON The Trump administration plans to direct immigration agents to greatly expand the categories of immigrants they target for deportation, according to drafts of two memos seen by Reuters.

Two sources familiar with the plans told Reuters the documents have been approved by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, but are under final review by the White House.

They are expected to be released to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) early next week.

Under the orders, hundreds of thousands of people - including those who had not been prioritised for deportation under former president Barack Obama - would face expedited removal proceedings.

The memos are guidance to instruct agents to implement the two executive orders signed by Mr Donald Trump on Jan 25, which are intended to deter migration and drive out more illegal migrants from the US.

WIDE DISCRETION

One memo instructs ICE agents to ignore Mr Obama's memos that targeted only recent arrivals and convicted criminal migrants for deportation.

Instead, migrants who have been charged with crimes but not convicted would be prioritised for deportation.

The guidance also allows ICE agents wide discretion in deciding who to deport and considers anyone in the US illegally to be subject to deportation.

The guidance leaves in place Mr Obama's executive action that protected people brought to the US illegally by their parents.

The fate of the policy, known as DACA, has been hotly debated within the White House, according to sources.

Mr Trump said on Friday that DACA was a "very difficult subject" for him.

The ICE memo also states that immigrants will not be afforded US privacy law rights.

The second memo instructs CBP officers to crack down on illegal migration at the border by holding migrants in detention until a determination in their case is made.

The Department of Homeland Security did not deny any information contained in the draft memos.

LAST MINUTE

A source familiar with the guidance said the White House made a last-minute request to review them.

Mr Kelly said in one of the memos that illegal immigration across the US border with Mexico had "created a significant national security vulnerability" to the US. - REUTERS

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