With immigration courts reaching a record backlog in 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly ordered Monday that illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than two years should be allowed to be deported without a court hearing.
Kelly signed two memos Monday that made significant changes to the nation’s immigration policy. They ordered the immediate construction of a border wall, expanded the amount of local police who will enforce immigration law, and put every illegal immigrant — excluding those protected under President Obama’s executive amnesty — at risk of deportation.
Condemnation of the plan by pro-immigration activists and Democratic politicians was swift. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement Tuesday, “By targeting those without serious convictions, those who have merely been charged with offenses, or those recent arrivals — including unaccompanied children — who have posed no safety threat to our neighborhoods, the President has chosen the politics of division over our nation’s safety.”
The policy director of the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan, who advocates for reduced immigration, on the other hand told Newsweek the memos are a “welcome move.”