US Immigration Policies On Deportation Widen

February 22, 2017

The Homeland Security Department cast a wide net Tuesday for determining which immigrants living in the country illegally should be deported.

The changes to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies make deportations more likely and they make them happen much faster. They also adapt deportation rules that up until now were reserved for immigrants caught near the U.S. border and apply them to undocumented immigrants living within the U.S. 

Under the policies announced Tuesday, federal immigration agents will prioritize the deportation of people who’ve been living in the country less than two years. Under the Obama administration, the standard was two weeks. The widened policies will also cost more, as 15,000 immigration and border agents will be hired on.

Immigration attorney Maurice Goldman said bed space at detention centers will quickly become an issue.

"They’re already filling up about 40 to 50,000 a day. If you look at the sheer numbers of volume of people in this country, we could be looking at upwards of 200,000 beds that could be filled per day," he said.

The new policies also target the U.S. parents of unaccompanied minors from Central American countries. Parents living in the U.S. who arrange for their children to be smuggled in could now be prosecuted under the new guidelines.