WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – New memos put out by the Department of Homeland Security aim to place a higher emphasis on stopping illegal immigration, still prioritizing the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants.
“The new policies greatly expand the targets of immigration enforcement,” says Attorney Dan Monnat.
KSN spoke with attorney Dan Monnat, who says fast track deportation was typically sought for undocumented illegal immigrants within 100 miles of a border and in the U.S. less than 14 days. He says this memo goes beyond that.
“A federal agent can seek fast track deportation of any undocumented immigrant in the US anywhere who has been here less than two years. Obviously to achieve all this more money and police power is required,” says Monnat.
Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter is anxious to hear how these memos could impact his staff.
“We are not able to enforce immigration laws.”
He says, right now, if his deputies pull a car over and find out there are undocumented immigrants inside they call ICE. If those individuals aren’t known felons or suspected of criminal behavior, they are usually let go.
But one of the memos appears to allow local law enforcement to be made immigration officers.
Easter says he’s had no communication from the feds about this change, and he’s hoping to get some clarification.
“If there is a change that comes from this particular presidency where there is some laws that are going to be passed to have us enforce immigration law, then we will follow the law,” says Easter.
For those that work to protect immigrants there’s worry right now. But there is also being an effort made to better understand what the memos mean.
“Loss of hope and desire to fight back and protect the family is our nature,” says Guadalupe Magdeleno.
Also included in the memo is the DHS’s plan to hire thousands more ICE and border patrol agents and efforts to begin building a border wall.