The Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 25, 2017 significantly altered the Obama administration’s immigration policy that focused resources on deporting individuals with serious criminal convictions. The January 25 Order expands the “priority” category to include, not only individuals with criminal convictions, but also persons who are merely charged with a crime. Also included in the “priority” category are individuals that have “abused public benefits” and those who, in the judgment of an immigration officer, present a “risk to public safety” or a “threat to national security.” The Order eliminates the “catch and release” policy pursuant to which individuals detained for alleged violation of the immigration laws were routinely released from custody.
To facilitate enforcement under the new policies the January 25, 2017 Executive Order authorizes the hiring of 5000 additional Customs and Border Patrol agents, 10,000 additional immigration officers, and significantly increases the number of I.C.E. operations/enforcement agents. The Executive Order also calls for the construction of additional detention facilities at the southern border. It also authorizes the construction of a wall on the southern border with Mexico.