The White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to increase the number of immigration and Border Patrol agents by 15,000. Under rules issued on Tuesday, almost any undocumented person in the country could be detained and deported, even if they have never committed a crime. A traffic violation or mere suspicion of committing a crime could now be grounds for deportation. Any immigrant who cannot prove they have been in the United States for over two years could be deported without a hearing. The memos also call for the prosecution of parents who seek to reunite their family by using smugglers to bring their children into the country. According to the White House, protections will remain in place for now for DREAMers—immigrants who came to the United States as children and have since received permission to live and work in the United States under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
Dozens Fired for Participating in “Day Without Immigrants”
Last Thursday, thousands of immigrants closed their businesses, refused to go to work and kept their children home from school for a “Day Without Immigrants” protest in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Raleigh, Austin and other cities. Media reports now say as many as 100 immigrants lost their jobs after taking part in the protests, including construction and restaurant workers. The owner of JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado, fired 30 bricklayers, even though they had told their boss ahead of time that they planned to skip work to participate in the protests. We’ll have more on the Department of Homeland Security memos after headlines.