February 10th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Almost everyone is a deportation priority,” William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told me of the guidelines, which are a strict departure from the Obama administration’s stated focus on removing criminals, undocumented immigrants in the country less than two years, and individuals caught while crossing the border. Trump’s order, by comparison, includes a vast range of categories, allowing immigration officers to pick up anyone.
The categories include any immigrant (documented or not) convicted of, charged of, or thought to have committed a crime— that could include undocumented immigrants who crossed the border illegally (a criminal misdemeanor) and legal permanent residents charged with minor offenses.
“The new enforcement priorities also apply to green-card holders and people here on temporary visas,” Cornell University immigration law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr told me. “For example, if I am a green-card holder and am arrested for jumping a turnstile in New York City, I am a priority for deportation, even though it is a minor crime.”
Yale-Loehr, who warned that the order would likely “have more impact on our immigration system than the travel ban,” said that “because everyone is a priority no one is a priority” to deport. That could also lead to immigration officers conducting workplace raids—such as the recent one in Monroe—and targeting easy-to-seize immigrants, since individuals with serious criminal convictions are harder to apprehend.