The rules are changing at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The administration wants most undocumented migrants to feel safe in America.
New rules target three groups for deportation. Two of the groups are convicted criminals and potential terrorists. The third group includes people who have recently crossed the border. Thousands of DHS agents are being retrained.
The background for this is a program intended to give legal status to about five million undocumented residents. It is known as DAPA. It was challenged in federal court by conservative states. So far the courts are agreeing with the states. The program is not going forward.
The new policy is moving forward. If immigrants believe the policy is happening, there could be big changes. For example, immigrants could report crimes and work with police. They could drive without fear of deportation for minor violations.
A DHS leader said, “We are making it clear that we are not deporting those who have been here for years. We are sending away those who have committed serious crimes. We are not sending away those who have become members of our society. These people are here, they live among us, and they are not going away.”
The number of deportations is dropping. The number of deportations by the end of 2015 will be nearly 50 percent fewer than the number deported in 2012.
Do undocumented migrants believe what they are being told? The immigrant community is not sure. Advocates say there have been broken promises before. An advocate said, “DHS is an agency that has terrorized our community for a
long time. The level of distrust and fear is really big.”
Source: The Washington Post July 2, 2015