(San Francisco, CA, February 23, 2017)— On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security released documents outlining plans for a program of mass deportation that effectively targets all undocumented people, putting millions of people at risk. The plans expand mandatory detention and so-called “Fast Track” deportations, which can be carried out without any hearing before a judge. The plans also call for hiring thousands of new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, and forcing state and local law officials to enforce federal immigration laws.
The plans would reinstate the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program that the Obama administration abandoned in 2014, after the program proved to be ineffective and widely criticized as dangerous and counterproductive by state governors, mayors, police chiefs, and community leaders across the country. Federal courts also struck down significant provisions of the plan as an overreach of federal authority. The Department of Homeland Security plans to once again implement this deeply unpopular and illegal program.
The new orders also direct immigration officials to make “full use” of immigration law, which appears to authorize indiscriminate arrests and detentions.
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:
“This blueprint for mass deportations is dangerous, immoral, and a betrayal of our country’s most cherished values of freedom and opportunity for all. These policies target millions of people who have fled life-threatening violence and instability and who contribute enormously to our economy and society. They violate fundamental rights guaranteed to all persons under our laws, and do nothing to make us safer. We stand together with those courageous members of Congress, and the millions of Americans who have spoken up to keep our country’s ideals of freedom and fairness alive. We cannot let any president rule by fear and division. We call on elected officials and others to resist these draconian policies.”