Media Contact

NYCLU Press Office, 212.607.3372

February 21, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security today released two memoranda implementing President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security. The new directives eliminate earlier policies that deprioritized the deportation of immigrants who pose no threat to—and are integral members of—our communities. The directives greatly expand “expedited” and “administrative” removals, allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Border Patrol officers to deport more people—not only at the border but throughout the United States—without any court oversight. The directives promise a massive expansion of detention of children and families seeking asylum in the United States by requiring, with limited exceptions, that officers detain any undocumented immigrant found at or near the border. The directives also reinstate the Secure Communities program and emphasize the expansion of a program that recruits local police departments and sheriff’s offices to do the work of federal immigration officers – interfering with their ability to do their job keeping communities safe as well as encouraging racial profiling. 

The following statement is attributable to New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“The Trump regime has dramatically expanded the number of immigrant New Yorkers who could find themselves in the crosshairs of the president’s mass deportation machine. These new rules will result in thousands of lives being ruined and families being torn apart.”

“Police officers have no business doing the work of federal immigration agents. Deputizing local officers to carry out the work of ICE makes communities less safe while alienating immigrants from local law enforcement. We will continue to advocate for state and local agencies to abstain from enabling the Trump deportation force.”

“These new rules would also eviscerate the due process rights of immigrants by assigning huge numbers of immigration decisions to the unchecked authority of ICE and Border Patrol officers instead of judges – a dangerous step toward destroying even the appearance of fair procedures.”