The Trump administration has made it a cornerstone of their campaign promises
that they would crack down on illegal immigration and deportations. In
recent months, Attorney Jeff Sessions has begun to enforce the new administration’s
immigration. A memo circulating throughout the Department of Justice urges government
attorneys to consider raising felony charges against individuals who have
been caught crossing the border after a previous
Additionally, federal lawyers are urged to aggressively pursue felony charges
against people who have help immigrants to enter the country illegally
and those who have harbored illegal immigrants. Felony convictions will
call for more severe penalties than misdemeanor charges would. The memo
also calls for more energy and resources to be spent pursuing cases involving
trafficking assault, gangs, identity theft, and document fraud.
Despite Sessions’ vision to secure the border and combat the “attack
on our national security and sovereignty,” the Justice Department
and Department of Homeland Security have yet to explain how the increase
in felony convictions will affect the expected increase in deportations.
In an executive order, Trump stated that there would be a focus on flagging anyone
convicted of a criminal offense for removal.
This statement was later clarified to prioritize enforcement actions against
those who are involved in gang activity or drug trafficking, in a memo
by DHS Security Secretary John Kelly. It is expected that those with felony
convictions or charges will be a higher priority for removal. Further
adding to the confusion is the lack of directions regarding what populations
the increased deportation efforts will be targeting. Some hold that it
is meant to increase the removal of those who are already in the country
illegally, while others believe that it will be focused on those who are
arrested at the border.
The purpose of Attorney Sessions’ orders is clear—the new administration
is seeking to deter immigrants from entering the country illegally, and
are threatening increased efforts to keep them out of the country.
If you are concerned about how the latest developments in U.S. immigration
policy may affect you, please don’t hesitate to speak to our Philadelphia
immigration law attorneys. At the
Law Office of Matthew Archambeault, we know the stressful changes immigrants are facing, and we are dedicated
to protecting your rights.
Learn how we can assist you.
Contact our offices to request a
consultation with our team.