A memo released by the Department of Homeland Security outlines the Trump administration’s plans to begin immediate construction on a southern border wall, expand the capabilities of Border Patrol agents and more effectively enforce current immigration laws.
The memo, which follows up on last month’s executive order by Trump titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, implements new procedures that will stem illegal immigration, improve detection practices, apprehension strategies and removal of illegals. The document also outlines expanding the capabilities of the DHS to prioritize deportations based on the danger, risk of flight and criminal records of illegal immigrants already in the country.
Additionally, 5,000 more Border Patrol agents will also be hired, according to the memo, as well as 500 Air & Marine Agents/Officers who will “take all actions necessary” to ensure they are prepared and have the equipment required to perform their duties.
CBP has insufficient agents/officers to effectively detect, track, and apprehend all aliens illegally entering the United States. The United States needs additional agents and officers to ensure complete operational control of the border. Accordingly, the Commissioner of CBP shall- while ensuring consistency in training and standards- immediately begin the process of hiring 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, as well as 500 Air & Marine Agents/Officers, subject to the availability of resources, and take all actions necessary to ensure that such agents/officers enter on duty and are assigned to appropriate duty stations, including providing for the attendant resources and additional personnel necessary to support such agents, as soon as practicable.
The memo outlines a detailed process to begin the initial stages of the southern border wall including acquiring materials, sensors to detect attempted border crossing, access roads for patrols and any supplemental budget costs that will need to be approved by Congress.
A wall along the southern border is necessary to deter and prevent the illegal entry of aliens and is a critical component of the President’s overall border security strategy. Congress has authorized the construction of physical barriers and roads at the border to prevent illegal immigration in several statutory provisions, including section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 1103 note.
Consistent with the President’s Executive Order, the will of Congress and the need to secure the border in the national interest, CBP, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies, and nongovernmental entities having relevant expertise-and using materials originating in the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law-shall immediately begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, along the land border with Mexico in accordance with existing Jaw, in the most appropriate locations and utilizing appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the border.
The Under Secretary for Management, in consultation with the Commissioner of CBP shall immediately identify and allocate all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, and develop requirements for total ownership cost of this project, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current fiscal year (e.g., supplemental budget requests) and subsequent fiscal years.
The memo further outlines expanded removal processes to “detain and expeditiously remove” illegal immigrants who are caught crossing the border, or who have had their requests to stay in the country denied. It also implements enhanced provisions to return illegal immigrants back to their country of origin, something that Mexico has vowed to fight with the assistance of their consulates in America.
Additional immigration security measures aren’t the only topic of the memo, as it also touches on improving the asylum seeking process for immigrants who claim they are facing imminent danger in their home countries, or fear threats of violence if they return.
Many illegal immigrants have reportedly been coached by cartels and human traffickers on how to request asylum in America, as under prior border security practices very few immigrants were turned away if they made such a request. The memo outlines an improved process, however, that will perform the due diligence to determine if the illegal immigrant is being truthful about their asylum request, or if they are simply using it as a way to prevent deportation.
President Trump had previously stated during an interview on ABC that the border wall will being “in months” and as quickly as possible. It appears his administration is following up on his orders, as this very detailed memo outlines a process that, if followed, will see America’s border security drastically improved in a very short period of time.
The entire memo concerning border security and illegal immigration measures can be viewed here or in the viewer below.