August 3, 2020

Volume X, Number 216

August 03, 2020

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Improved Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Focus of Two Executive Orders

Border security and immigration law enforcement are the subject of two new Executive Orders from President Donald Trump released on January 25, 2017.

Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” directs the Department of Homeland Security to start the process of constructing the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico immediately. The Order directs:

  • The end of the “catch and release” policy.

  • The creation of more detention space at the border to facilitate the return of detainees to their home countries.

  • The hiring of 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.

  • The promotion of agreements with state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws.

  • The designation of criminal prosecutions with a nexus to the southern border as a high priority.

Initial funding for the wall may come from the existing Secure Fence Act, but Congress must make further appropriations to start construction. President Trump has said Mexico will reimburse the United States for the construction at a later date, which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has disputed. The Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements order also directs the DHS to detail how much U.S. foreign aid has gone to Mexico over the past five years.

The “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” focuses on enforcement. It:

  • Directs withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities.”

  • Adds 10,000 immigration officers to perform law enforcement functions.

  • Makes public on a quarterly basis a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.

  • Makes the acceptance of foreign nationals who are subject to removal from the United States a condition precedent to diplomatic negotiations.

  • Establishes an Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens to provide support for family members.

  • Reinstates the Secure Communities Program that focuses on deportation of those who pose threats to public safety. This replaces the Obama Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program that focused on deporting certain criminal offenders, criminal gang members, and those who pose a danger to national security.

More orders are expected, including to reduce the refugee program that had been expanded by the Obama Administration and to restrict visas for certain countries (i.e., Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya).

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 26


About this Author

Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

(402) 391-1991
Michael H. Neifach, Jackson Lewis, Employment visa Lawyer, border security matters attorney

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw the Immigration, Compliance, and Homeland Security practice at a boutique immigration law firm until joining Jackson Lewis.

(703) 483-8300