TrumpWatch, Day 33: Homeland Security Outlines Immigration Crackdown

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Homeland Security guidelines make almost all 11 million undocumented immigrants subject to deportation


Developments on Day 33 of the Trump Administration:

Homeland Security Sets Out Immigration Guidelines

The Department of Homeland Security sets out guidelines under which almost all undocumented immigrants, estimated at 11 million, may be subject to deportation.

About 750,000 immigrants who entered the US as children — known as “dreamers” under the Obama Administration’s attempts to pass the Dream Act — will retain protections granted by Obama’s executive order in 2012.

See US Podcast: Trump’s Crackdown on Immigrants

The guidelines do not include a provision, included in an early draft according to officials, that would have deployed the National Guard in 11 states to carry out detentions. But 10,000 more U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 5,000 more Customs and Border Protection agents will be hired.

Under the new rules, immigrants who cannot show they have been in the country for more than two years are subject to “expedited removal.” Currently, that process only applies to migrants apprehended near a US border who cannot show they have been in the country more than 14 days.

The memos also instruct ICE to detain migrants who are awaiting a court decision on whether they will be deported or granted relief, such as asylum.

DHS officials said in a conference call that, although any undocumented immigrant can be deported, the agency will give priority to recent entrants and those charged or convicted of a crime.

The ICE began the crackdown earlier this month, sweeping up hundreds of immigrants in six states. The detentions have been met by widespread protests., including a banner declaring “Refugees Welcome” posted on the base of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday. Park rangers soon removed it.

Many of the guidelines need Congressional approval, a public comment period, or negotiations with other nations such as Mexico, whose immigration officials immediately objected to part of the new rules.

The DHS plans to send non-Mexican migrants crossing the southern U.S. border back into Mexico as they await a decision on their case, but an official from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said the Government will tell the Department that it is “impossible” for Mexico to accept deportees or asylum applicants from foreign countries.

Trump Finally Condemns Anti-Semitism

Donald Trump finally gives an unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, following bomb threats against Jewish community centers.

Trump had provoked questions for his delay in issuing a statement, given bomb threats against 48 centers in 26 states in January. At a press conference last Thursday, he rebuked an Orthodox Jewish journalist who raised the issue.

The Republican Administration faced further criticism when its statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the six million Jews who died. Officials said the White House blocked a State Department reference to the victims.

Administration Indicates Lifting of Obama Policy for Transgender Rights

The Republican administration indicates new guidelines will rescind a policy enacted by the Obama Administration designed to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a news briefing that the matter will be left to individual states.

The Obama Administration had mandated that students could use facilities, such as restrooms and dorms, that match their gender identity.

Spicer said:

The President has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government. So will there be further guidance coming out on this? I think all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time. That this is not something that the federal government should be involved in. This is a states’ rights issue.

US and Canada Cinemas to Show “1984” as Protest

Nearly 90 cinemas in the US and Canada plan to show the film adaptation of George Orwell’s novel 1984, in protest at President Trump’s policies.

The screenings of the 1984 version with John Hurt will take place on April 4, the date that protagonist Winston Smith writes on the first page of his illegal diary.

Organizers said:

Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier….

[We] strongly believe in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts and see any attempt to scuttle that program as an attack on free speech and creative expression through entertainment.

TOP PHOTO: Banner draped on Statue of Liberty on Tuesday

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