President Donald Trump's administration's plan to widen the parameters for expedited deportation has "a streak of cruelty," according to The Washington Post.
In an op-ed from the Post editorial board, The Post argues against Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly's memos outlining an expanded policy for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Citing figures from the U.S. Border Patrol, the Post contends, since the number of arrests of illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border fell to a quarter of what it was in 2000, the DHS expansion is unnecessary and potentially damaging.
"The effect of the new DHS guidelines is to sharply expand the pool of immigrants designated as priorities for deportation . . . [to an estimated] 800,000 to 1.1 million people" who entered the U.S. in the past two years, and live anywhere in the country.
Previously, only those who entered in the previous two weeks and were living at most 100 miles from the border were targeted for expedited deportation.
"They also target not only people convicted of serious crimes but also those convicted of minor infractions, such as using a false Social Security number to get a job.
"The guidelines' subsidiary effects are just as concerning," the editors wrote. "They compromise law enforcement efforts in counties and cities nationwide by expanding efforts to deputize local police to act as federal deportation agents. That could chill cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and immigrant neighborhoods."
The DHS memo "sends a message of fear through many of America's immigrant communities — not just the estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants, but also their spouses, children, and other relatives living legally in the United States."
The Post concedes "deterrence is a fair goal," but only "if achieved by humane means."
"In this case, the administration's policies will break up families and harm people leading peaceable lives," the editors conclude.
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