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Published: Mon, February 20, 2017
USA | By Yvette Dunn

Draft DHS guidelines seek to aggressively detain immigrants

Draft DHS guidelines seek to aggressively detain immigrants

If adopted, the changes would be in connection with executive orders Trump signed in late-January that temporarily ban refugee programs and travel to the USA from seven mostly Muslin nations.

"The president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first E.O.", Kelly told a gathering of the Munich Security Conference. "And I will have opportunity to work a rollout plan, in particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports".

Asked whether green card residency permit holders would be allowed in, Mr Kelly said: "It's a good assumption and, as far as the visas go. if they're in motion from some distant land to the United States, when they arrive they will be allowed in".

For foreign nationals from the countries in question who already hold valid US entry visas, Kelly said, "if they're in motion from some distant land to the United States, when they arrive they will be allowed in".

As part of Trump's original order, citizens from seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - were not allowed to enter the country for 90 days.

U.S. President Donald Trump's initial attempt to clamp down for security reasons on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees snarled to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports.

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The guidance, obtained by CNN, does not change anything in the executive orders on border security and interior enforcement that Trump signed during his first week in office. He criticized the court order suspending the ban as "a very bad decision, very bad for the safety and security of our country". The agency chief added, however, that there would be a "short phase-in period" to ensure affected travelers in other countries were not allowed to board airliners prematurely, to evade the travel ban.

The original travel ban, which was set aside by USA courts, was issued January 27.

The memos do not include measures to activate National Guard troops to help apprehend immigrants in 11 states that had been included in a draft document leaked to reporters on Friday. While all refugees were excluded for 120 days, those from Syria were banned indefinitely. Nevertheless, those holding visas already flying will not be denied entry. The documents have yet to be published and could change before they're officially issued.

The new procedures would allow authorities to seek expedited deportation proceedings, now limited to undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for two weeks or less, to anyone who has been in the country for up to two years.

"Their claim that everyone left voluntarily and this idea that anyone who wants come back can just call up (U.S. customs officials) is just ludicrous", she said. That leaves at least 103 people who were deported, with no public information on their whereabouts, Heller said.

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