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DHS to Increase Detention and Deportation Capacity

DHS to Increase Detention and Deportation Capacity

According to a draft of an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Trump Administration is taking significant steps toward expanding its capacity to detain and deport immigrants present in the U.S. without legal status. The administration is seeking funding for increased detention capacity by about 30,000 additional beds for detained immigrants. Additionally, the memo advises Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to detain all unauthorized immigrants and allow release of these individuals pending deportation proceedings only in very limited circumstances. These are the measures that the Trump administration believes are necessary in order to carry out its agenda of greater enforcement of American immigration laws. DHS declined to comment on the draft of the memo. At this point, ICE has not reached capacity at the existing detention centers, despite stepped up enforcement efforts, mostly because border arrests have dropped dramatically since the first of the year. Nonetheless, ICE has increased bed availability by about 1,000 beds and has another 1,000 beds on stand-by to be available, as well. The memo states that pending funding, ICE could procure another 21,000 beds from various sources, as well as 12,500 temporary beds designed to respond to any sudden surges in border migration. To that end, DHS is seeking the cooperation of Mexico in holding immigrants detained at the border and establishing courts proceedings to occur at ports and via video conferencing for these individuals. Finally, DHS has recruited a number of local law enforcement agencies to essentially be deputized as ICE agents for the purposes of carrying out immigration-related enforcement duties. Although the administration has sought up to $20 million in federal funding in order to build a prototype and begin to create its promise of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, its focus in this respect has turned to 48 miles of “high-priority” new border in the Rio Grande Valley and San Diego. Furthermore, DHS has begun to examine strategies to not only make up the current shortfall in the availability of ICE agents, but to fill the additional 5,000 positions that Trump maintains is necessary to more strictly enforce immigration laws. Individuals who are detained and facing deportation need a knowledgeable California immigration attorney who can help them through this difficult and complicated process. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 756-4468 to schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn how we can assist you.

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