Social media and numerous publications have been filled with information about the federal government’s hiring freeze.
Here is a twist. The twist involves hiring thousands of new federal employees as part of the changing priorities of the federal government.
The plans are consistent with promises from the Trump campaign prior to the election. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now has a plan to emphasize putting a stop to illegal immigration. The plan includes hiring up to 15,000 more federal agents and accelerating deportation hearings. The new federal employees would become part of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies.
The memos on the plan have been signed by the Secretary of DHS, John Kelly. The memoranda are awaiting approval by President Trump. The plan would reportedly give federal authorities greater authority to detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the country and along America’s southern border.
The guidelines also call for expanding a priority list for illegal immigrants marked for immediate removal. The federal government would seek assistance of local law enforcement agencies. This is also consistent with the philosophy of the Trump administration to work more with state and local officials rather than having the federal government impose policies on local and state governments.
DHS has published the memos.
The changes in immigration enforcement are in connection with executive orders Trump signed in late-January on illegal immigration.
According to Kelly, “The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States.”
Also, the proposed policies would supersede those issued under previous administrations, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.
The proposed actions are similar to references made by President Trump in his acceptance speech and also to suggestions from a federal union, the National Border Patrol Council.
Here is a summary of some of the most significant changes from the implementation memos that have been issued:
- Prioritizing criminal illegal immigrants and others for deportation, updating guidance from previous administration.
- Expanding the program allowing participating local officers to act as immigration agents. This policy had been substantially reduced under the Obama administration.
- Starting work on building a wall along the border with Mexico.
- Hiring 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers.
- Hiring 5,000 Border Patrol agents.
- Ending “catch-and-release” allowing illegal immigrants subject to deportation to enter the country knowing many would not appear at removal hearings scheduled months or years in the future.