WASHINGTON, Feb 22 2017 – US President Donald Trump has expanded the nation’s immigration rules requiring expanded deportation of undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants.
In a revised executive order, captioned “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, Trump said US federal immigration law both imposes the responsibility and provides the means for the federal government, in cooperation with the states, to secure the nation’s borders.
He said the purpose of the order is to “direct executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure the nation’s southern border with Mexico to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently and humanely”.
Trump said the order includes returning Caribbean and other immigrants to their respective countries, pending formal proceedings.
The order also directs the US Secretary of Homeland Security to hire an additional 5,000 border agents and to “empower state and local law enforcement to support federal enforcement of immigration law, to the maximum extent permitted by law, and to ensure that prosecution guidelines place a high priority on crimes”.
Last Friday, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency released a list detailing the offences of 680 immigrants who were recently detained and slated for deportation, adding 75 percent had criminal convictions.
In the largely Caribbean community in Brooklyn, New York, rumours of immigration sweeps at a popular department store and a sprawling hospital frequented by Caribbean nationals spread like wildfire last week, prompting the intervention of a Caribbean American legislator.
New York City Council Member Jumaane D Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, said he and his staffers have been following up on “the many rumours, as we can”. Williams has been among the Caribbean community’s most vocal critics of the Trump’s administration immigration policies.
Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke had warned the Trump travel ban would extend to the Caribbean. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, represents the Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn.
Last weekend, Caribbean Community leaders expressed concern Trump’s immigration policies could result in a reduction of travel to the Caribbean.
“We must obviously be concerned with the recent issue related to immigration, and the impact it will have on our citizens and on tourism,” said Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.