The Department of Homeland Security on February 21 rolled out a pair of memos meant to set internal guidelines for the implementation of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant executive orders. The flagship policies of those executive orders are unpopular with a majority of Americans, but they have been a cause for celebration among nativists and white supremacists.
Trump’s Department of Homeland Security Issues Implementation Memos On Trump’s Immigration Executive Orders
Wash. Post: The Department Of Homeland Security Rolls Out “Road Map” Memos To Implement Trump’s Executive Actions. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rolled out a pair of memos signed by Secretary John Kelly intended to provide guidelines for the implementation of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. The memos “could reverse a sizeable reduction in the number of deportations that occurred toward the end of President Barack Obama’s time in office.” In addition, they “considerably broaden the pool of undocumented immigrants prioritized for removal” compared to Obama’s priorities for deportation. As reported by The Washington Post on February 21:
The new guidelines, intended as a road map toward implementing a pair of executive actions Trump signed last month, call for the hiring of thousands of additional enforcement agents, expanding the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speeding up deportation hearings and enlisting local law enforcement to help make arrests.
The policies represent a sharp break from the final years of the Obama administration and could reverse a sizable reduction in the number of deportations that occurred toward the end of President Barack Obama’s time in office.
[Secretary John] Kelly’s new DHS policies considerably broaden the pool of undocumented immigrants prioritized for removal, including those who have been charged with crimes but not convicted, those who commit acts that constitute a “chargeable criminal offense,” and those who an immigration officer concludes pose “a risk to public safety or national security.”
DHS officials emphasized that the guidelines in Kelly’s memos hew closely to the language of Trump’s executive orders and that the secretary has written the memos to conform to federal immigration laws established by Congress. [The Washington Post, 2/21/17]
Trump’s Executive Actions On Immigration Are Unpopular With A Majority Of The Population
PRRI’s Robert P. Jones: “Not Even The Reddest States Support Deportation.” In a January 27 article published by The Atlantic, Dr. Robert P. Jones explained that polling research from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), where he is CEO, shows that an overwhelming majority of the American population supports giving immigrants legal status rather than deporting them:
“Very few Americans, and even few Republicans, say their preferred policy solution to the country’s illegal immigration problem is the deportation of an estimated 11 million people. That is the clear result of a study based on over 120,000 interviews with Americans.”
When asked about how the immigration system should deal with immigrants who are currently living in the country illegally, the new study found nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans say we should allow them a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, and another 15 percent say we should allow them a way to become permanent legal residents but not citizens. Only 16 percent of Americans, and only 28 percent of Republicans, say their preferred policy option is to identify and deport those who are living in the country without legal documentation. [The Atlantic, 1/27/17]
But For Nativists And White Supremacists, The Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies Are “Christmas In February”
FAIR’s Dan Stein: “It’s Christmas In February.” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) -- an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “hate group” and part of the “nativist lobby” -- celebrated the rollout of the DHS memos by saying it was like “Christmas in February:”
The memos fulfill Trump's campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for lower levels of legal and illegal immigration, said the memos capture many recommendations his group has been making for years.
“It's Christmas in February,” Stein said. “What (Homeland Security Secretary John) Kelly has done is lay out a broad road map of regaining control of a process that's spun out of control.” [USA Today, 2/21/17]
The Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin: “Do You Think Mexicans Are The Lowest Sort Of Subhuman Filth?” Reporting on the DHS immigration memos, Andrew Anglin, founder of the white supremacist publication The Daily Stormer, invited his readers to apply for a government job enforcing immigration if they think “Mexicans are the lowest sort of subhuman filth.” He added that all immigrants are criminals and cheered Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, saying, “That is how you deport tens of millions of people.” From the February 21 article:
Do you think Mexicans are the lowest sort of subhuman filth?
Do you enjoy wearing a black mask and staying up late?
Do you enjoy kicking in doors at 3 AM, pulling greasy wetbacks out of their taco-stained beds and hauling them out onto the street in their underwear and throwing them – headfirst while handcuffed – into the back of a windowless black van?
Well, if the answer to these questions is “HELL YES,” then the government has a job for you…!
After we deport the criminals known criminals (they’re all criminals, but you understand), we’re going to start clamping down on companies that hire illegals. Then, masses will self-deport. We can then make it illegal to rent to them. Eventually, we can do sweeps of the hold-outs.
That is how you deport tens of millions of people. [The Daily Stormer, 2/17/17]
DHS Secretary John Kelly has certainly been busy since the Senate confirmed his appointment last month, but two memos he signed yesterday are the most significant actions he's taken thus far. Kelly signed a memo titled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” and another one titled “Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies” providing guidance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Border Patrol, and USCIS on how to executive Pres. Trump's Jan. 25 executive orders.
The only downside to Kelly's interior enforcement memo is that it specifically excludes the recision (sic) of Pres. Obama's DACA and DAPA amnesties. [NumbersUSA, 2/21/17]
White Supremacist Richard Spencer: “Non-Citizens Have No Constitutional Rights:”