Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has drafted new orders to agency heads that would considerably expand the number of immigrants who could be detained and deported under executive orders President Trump signed last month, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Under the proposed orders in two memos dated Friday, hundreds of thousands more immigrants in the U.S. illegally would be subject to what’s known as expedited removal proceedings to get them out of the country quickly. A senior White House official said the memos were not final, that White House lawyers had objected to some of their provisions, and that while the memos were DHS’s “final cut” at implementing Trump’s orders, they had not received White House approval.
The draft orders would affect thousands of children who arrived in the U.S. as “unaccompanied minors” and were later reunited with a parent living in the country illegally. Those children would no longer be protected against deportation, and their parents would be subject to criminal prosecution if they had paid human traffickers to bring their children across the border, which is a common scenario. One memo said 155,000 unaccompanied children have been detained in the past three years, and that 60 percent of them were later reunited with a parent inside the United States. “The surge of illegal immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly wrote.