Border and Enforcement News

Posted on: December 21st, 2017
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The Top 10 Immigration Developments of 2017

That 2017 has been a tumultuous year for immigration in the United States is not exactly a revelation. President Trump campaigned on this issue and has sought to deliver on many of his campaign promises. If you’re pro-immigration, there are not many positives to report this year except that public opinion remains strongly pro-immigration and resistance to the President’s immigration policies have led to a string of court victories and large public demonstrations.

So what were the most important immigration stories of 2017? From the perspective of an immigration lawyer, here’s my take.

 

  1. The end of DACA.President Trump campaigned on ending President Obama’s signature immigration accomplishment – the establishment of a deferred action program for the large population of young people who were brought to the United States as children. Nearly 800,000 of them have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. After going back and forth for most of the year on what he would do, President Trump elected to end the program. He did not end it immediately (as some in the Administration were urging) and instead, the program is winding it down with work cards and DACA status ending over the course of the next two years.The President has indicated that his preference is for Congress to address the issue and, indeed, Congress is dealing with the fallout of the ending of DACA. Democrats and allied Republicans are pushing for legislation called the DREAM Act to pass before the end of the calendar year while Republican leaders are suggesting they are content to wait until next spring. The big question is whether Democrats will make passage of the Dream Act a condition to their supporting a budget bill. Their votes are needed to avoid a government shutdown. With just a week to go before the deadline, Democrats have still not indicated what they will do. Republicans have introduced a bill – the SECURE Act – that is an opening offer and it is certainly unacceptable to Democrats. It calls for massive new enforcement measures, a dramatic drop in legal immigration numbers and a temporary extension of DACA with no permanent solution. In the meantime, a bipartisan group of Senators is negotiating behind the scenes to hammer out a deal and rumors are circulating that progress is being made.
  2. The Travel BanWhen President Trump floated this idea in the campaign, he was widely condemned even in his own party. But within a week of his inauguration, he signed an executive order imposing a total ban on the entry of nationals from seven countries. The scenes of massive protests at airports around the country and the mobilization of lawyers across the country marked the beginning of a fight that is still ongoing. The White House faced multiple lawsuits by various groups and state attorneys general and quickly lost the first round. They re-issued a lesser version of the ban and lost again in the courts. With the third version released in September, the White House provided more details on why particular counties were chosen and the US Supreme Court in early December allowed that version to take effect while the courts continue their review. But the fight will no doubt continue into 2018 on the policy.
  3. Appointment of Immigration Restrictionists to Key PositionsMost people have no idea how anti-immigrant groups have scored big victories in getting their allies appointed to a number of critical positions involved in immigration policymaking. Chief among them is Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was, by most measures, the most anti-immigrant member of the US Senate during his term there. As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions is in charge of the country’s immigration courts and defending the government in immigration litigation matters. He and his communication head Stephen Miller, now Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, were instrumental in derailing the 2013 bipartisan immigration reform effort. Miller, in his role in the White House, has been critical in killing DACA and pushing the travel ban.Julie Kirchner, the CBP Ombudsman, worked as an anti-immigrant activist for the group FAIR before being appointed to head the agency charged with assisting immigrants encountering unjustified difficulties with USCIS. And two aides to Senator Chuck Grassley, a legislator who is usually an opponent of most pro-immigrant legislation and is the Senate Judiciary Committee chair, has two staffers in key positions. One is Francis Cissna, the new head of USCIS. Cissna, in his early days at the agency, has been promoting efforts to slash legal immigration numbers and has suggested that family immigrants and beneficiaries of the diversity visa lottery are contributing to terrorism in the US.  The other is Kathy Nuebel Kovaric who has been appointed to the major USCIS job of Chief of the Office of Policy and Strategy.
  4. Curtailing legal immigrationPresident Trump’s anti-immigration message in the campaign extended beyond illegal immigration to promoting scaling back legal immigration. In April, he signed the Buy American, Hire American Executive Order which has been interpreted by USCIS to mean they need to much more closely scrutinize visa applications. They have implemented this in several important ways including
    • dramatically increasing the number of requests for evidence issued in H-1B and other work visa categories
    • requiring in-person interviews in all employment-based immigrant visa, an effort that could dramatically slow green card processing
    • reversing a longstanding policy of giving deference to prior adjudications in visa petitions and requiring applicants to reprove they meet each requirement for a particular visa each time they file for an extension

    The White House further promoted its anti-legal immigration agenda when it endorsed in August Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s Raise Act which would eliminate most of the family immigration categories outside of spouses of US citizens, eliminating the Diversity Visa lottery and replacing the employment immigration green card categories with a new point system that would force hundreds of thousands of people waiting in green card backlogs to have to start over and reapply.

  5. Pressuring Immigration JudgesThe White House knows it can’t deport as many people as it would like unless Immigration Courts churn out more cases. There is currently a backlog of 600,000 cases already. They want to hire more judges, but the more controversial solution unveiled in October is to impose new “numeric performance standards” that are seen as quotas on the number of cases Immigration Judges must handle. The National Association of Immigration Judges called the plan unprecedented and “the death knell for judicial independence.”The Department of Justice plan may be in jeopardy from an unexpected party. Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, a case working its way to the Supreme Court, challenges whether administrative law judges who hear Securities and Exchange Commission cases need to be confirmed by the Senate. The SEC just changed its position and weighed in favoring the position that judges must be confirmed by the Senate. Immigration Judges are in the same position and if the lawsuit in the SEC case ends up meaning those judges must be confirmed, it could mean hundreds of immigration judges need to go through a confirmation process. This could bring cases in immigration courts across the country to a halt.
  6. Attack on Obama Regulations and PoliciesAside from DACA, a number of Obama era programs are under attack. The Administration broadcast its hostility to programs relying on the discretionary use of parole and employment authorization provisions in the Code of Federal Regulations. One of the first programs targeted was the Entrepreneur Parole rule which was finalized in the final weeks of the Obama Administration and would have allowed start-up founders with significant venture capital funding to apply for work cards. The rule was set to take effect in mid-July and the White House announced days beforehand that it was delaying the program with the intent of killing it. A lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Council and the National Venture Capital Association challenged the process for pulling the regulation and scored a victory in late November by convincing a judge to grant summary judgment. USCIS is now required to accept the applications, though the fight is far from over.Other programs that are said to be in the line of fire are the H-4 Employment Authorization Document and the F-1 student visa STEM Optional Practical Training rule.
  7. Ramping up of Immigration EnforcementWhile the Obama Administration set records in its first term for deportations, it dramatically shifted gears in the second term and went so far as to issue a memorandum directing ICE to focus on criminals and not prioritize people who, aside from being out of immigration status, have been law abiding. The Trump Administration tore that memorandum up and is now putting anyone they encounter who is out of status in immigration proceedings.They’ve coupled this change with a dramatic increase in raids in immigrant communities across the country. ICE claims the raids are targeting criminals, but they are resulting in many non-criminals being placed in removal proceedings.The Administration has also expanded “expedited removal” which allows individuals to be removed from the US without being able to go to Immigration Court and argue for relief. Up until this year, expedited removal was only used for immigrants caught close to the border within a few days of their entering the country. The Administration’s expansion allows for expedited removal if a person is within 100 miles of the border and is picked up within two years of entering the US.
  8. Ending TPS for Sudanese, Haitians, and OthersIndividuals in the US when a natural disaster, civil war or other major catastrophe hits their country can be granted Temporary Protected Status which allows them to remain in the US and work legally. Those programs not only have humanitarian underpinnings, but are seen as helping the economies of the stricken countries by allowing TPS recipients to send money home.DHS has announced they are ending the TPS programs for Sudan, Nicaragua and Haiti and they are considering the same for other countries like El Salvador and Honduras. There are some in Congress working to include TPS recipients in any negotiated relief for DACA recipients, but it is far from clear whether this will happen.
  9. Cutting the Refugee ProgramPresident Trump attempted to shut out refugees temporarily in his proposed travel bans. The courts have pushed back and refugees have continued to enter the US. But the President has broad authority to limit refugee numbers and, not surprisingly, he has slashed the number of refugees who will be admitted this year. Furthermore, he has announced plans to limit refugee admissions to 45,000 in Fiscal Year 2018. And the country with one of the most serious refugee crises right now – Syria – is barred from sending the US refugees.
  10. Visa Processing HeadachesVisa processing at US consulates around the world has largely been a mess since the inauguration of President Trump. And that is largely deliberate. The State Department has seen an exodus of employees including many at US consulates around the world. And budget gets for consulates have slowed down processing of visas across the globe.Furthermore, consular officers have been under pressure to ramp up security and fraud checks which has also led to slower processing and increases in visa denials.Knowing how this year has gone, putting out this list with 18 days to go in the year may be foolhardy. So I’m expecting to have to come back to this article and make updates.

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12 Things to Know About Entrepreneur Rule

On December 14, 2017, USCIS announced it is beginning to accept Entrepreneur Parole cases. This is in response to a court order as a result of litigation over the agency’s attempt to postpone implementation of a rule finalized in the Obama Administration requiring applications be accepted beginning this past January. The Trump Administration has noted it still intends to rescind the rule and it is unclear what will happen to approved parolees or pending applicants if successfully accomplishes or what would happen to pending applications. So applicants need to file with appropriate caution. Here are the major things to know about Entrepreneur Parole:

 

  1. It’s available to entrepreneurs working in start-up companies formed within the last five years

 

  1. USCIS has created a new 15 page I-941 application form and is charging a filing fee of $1200. Applications are filed at the USCIS Texas Service Center.

 

  1. The entrepreneur must own at least 10% of the start-up.

 

  1. The entrepreneur must have a “qualified investor” who invests at least $250,000 in the start-up OR get a grant or award of at least $100,000 from a government agency OR show he or she can partially meet one of the first two and can present other compelling evidence showing a substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

 

  1. A qualified investor must have invested a total of at least $600,000 in start-ups in three different calendar year and at least two of the start-ups created at least five qualified jobs OR generated at least $500,000 in revenue with average annualized revenue growth of 20% or more

 

  1. The entrepreneur must be playing a central and active role in the start-up.

 

  1. Spouses can get parole as well and a work authorization document

 

  1. Parole is granted for up to 30 months and can be extended for up to 30 more months.

 

  1. To get an extension, the start-up must have received at least $500,000 in qualifying investments government grants or awards since the initial grant of parole OR created at least five qualified jobs with the start-up during the initial period OR reached at least $500,000 in annual revenue in the US and averaged 20% annual revenue growth during the initial period

 

  1. Up to three entrepreneurs per start-up can qualify for Entrepreneur Parole

 

  1. To get an extension, an entrepreneur must show he or she has an income of at least 400% of the federal poverty line for his or her household size.

 

  1. “Material” changes need to be reported to USCIS and be accompanied by a new Entrepreneur Parole application documenting continued eligibility.

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Siskind Summary: The SECURE Act of 2017

By Greg Siskind

The SECURE Act of 2017 was introduced this week by Senators Jon Cornyn (R-TX) and Charles Grassley (R-IA). Senator Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and Cornyn chairs the Immigration Subcommittee. The bill is significant because it is seen as the opening offer of Republicans looking to make a deal with Democrats in the debate over the fate of DACA recipients. The bill is overwhelmingly about enforcement and incorporates elements of the RAISE Act. The weakest DACA bill – the BRIDGE Act which extends DACA for 3 years without change or a permanent solution – is the one incorporated here.

Section 1: Short Title Table of Contents

TITLE I – BUILDING AMERICA’S TRUST ACT

Section 1001. Short Title. “Border Security for America Act of 2017”
Section 1002. Definitions.

  1. Advanced Unattended Surveillance Sensors – sensors that utilize an onboard computer to distinguish between vehicles, humans and animals.
  2. Appropriate Congressional Committee – as defined in Homeland Security Act of 2002
  3. Commissioner – Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection
  4. High Traffic Areas – As defined in 1996 Immigration Act
  5. Operational Control – As defined in Secure Fence Act of 2006
  6. Secretary – DHS Secretary
  7. Situational Awareness – As defined in National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2017
  8. Transit Zone – As defined in National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2017

 

Chapter 1 – Infrastructure and Equipment
Section 1111. Strengthening the Requirements for Barriers Along the Southern Border.
Strengthens IIRAIRA Section 102 to require deployment of infrastructure and technology near the US border to achieve situational awareness and operational control of the border and to deter illegal activity in high traffic areas. DHS shall deploy “tactical infrastructure” for achieving situational awareness and operational control of the border. This word “fencing” in the previous Section 102 is replaced with “tactical infrastructure” which includes boat ramps, access gates, checkpoint lighting, and roads as well as physical barriers like fencing, border walls and levee walls. The infrastructure shall be deployed by January 20, 2021.

Various technologies are also listed in this section including surveillance technology, sound and tunnel detection and drones.
Section 1112. Land Use or Acquisition.
Section 103 of the INA is amended to direct the DHS Secretary to lease or buy land or contract to use land adjacent to or near an international land border when DHS determines that the land is essential to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the US against any violation of the INA.

Provides for DHS to commence condemnation proceedings if they cannot get landowners to cooperate.
Section 1113. Air and Marine Operations Flight Hours.
DHS shall ensure at least 95,000 flight ours carried out by CBP.

DHS shall ensure drones operating no fewer than 24 hours per day for 5 days per week.

CBP shall contract for any additional aviation services needed in critical hours.
Section 1114. Capability Deployment to Specific Sectors and Transit Zone.
Before 1/20/2021, DHS shall deploy to each sector on the southern and northern borders enumerated capabilities (surveillance, communication, aviation, etc.). The sectors described are San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio, Laredo, Rio Grande Valley, Blaine, Spokane, Havre, Grand Forks, Detroit, Buffalo, Swanton, Houlton and the Transit Zone.
Section 1115. Deployment of Assets.

Not later than March 1st of each year, DHS shall conduct a joint comprehensive briefing of the appropriate congressional committees on the deployment of DHS personnel and assets along the borders of the US. The briefing shall include the number and types of assets and personnel deployed, the cause for any change in deployments and the anticipated impact that such deployments or changes are to have on the capacity of DHS to conduct its mission in each sector or district.
Section 1116. U.S. Border Patrol Activities.

The Chief of the US Border Patrol shall prioritize the deployment of Border Patrol agents to as close the physical land border as possible, consistent with enforcement priorities and accessibility to these areas.
Section 1117. Border Security Technology Program Management.

A new section is added to the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

It outlines the DHS shall submit to Congress a plan for testing and using verification and validation resources for border security technology.

 

Section 1118. National Guard Support to Secure the Southern Border and Reimbursement of States for Deployment of the National Guard at the Southern Border.

A governor of a state may order, with the approve of DHS and DOD, National Guard units to assist CBP with border security operations. This includes help with building the wall, surveillance, communication, construction, intelligence and aerial operations. Guard troops at the border will not be include in calculations to determine state compliance with National Guard strength requirements. DOD will reimburse states for the cost of deployment up to $35M per year.
Section 1119. Operation Phalanx.

DOD, with DHS concurrence, shall provide assistance to CBP to better secure the southern border. This may include deployment of manned aircraft, drones, ground-based surveillance and intelligence analysis. $75M is to be appropriated for this. DOD shall annually report to Congress on this.
Section 1120. Merida Initiative.

Assistance to Mexico under the Merida Initiative should be focused on enhancing security at Mexico’s northern and southern borders, judicial reform and supporting Mexican anti-drug efforts. The State Department shall provide assistance to Mexico to combat drug trafficking, building a secure, modern border security system, to support judicial reform and provide training to Mexican security forces in anti-drug efforts. 50% of funding shall be withheld until DOS submits a report to Congress certifying Mexico is significantly reducing illegal migration, drug trafficking and cross-border criminal activities on Mexico’s northern and southern borders, is addressing corruption and human rights abuses and improving the transparency of Mexican Federal police forces.
Section 1121. Prohibitions on Actions That Impede Border Security on Certain Federal Lands.

Federal agencies shall not impede, prohibit, or restrict activities of CBP on covered Federal land to executive search and rescue operations or to prevent all unlawful entries into the US. These activities may be carried out regardless of whether they comply with a list of 36 federal laws (mainly environmental laws). Existing agreements between CBP and a National Park Unit are not affected.
Section 1122. Landowner and Rancher Security Enhancement.

DHS shall establish a National Border Advisory Committee to advise on security claims and border security metrics and to discuss ways to improve security of high traffic areas along the northern and southern borders. The NBAC shall have at least one member from each state who has at least five years’ experience in border security and lives within 80 miles from the southern or norther border.
Section 1123. Limitation on Land Owner’s Liability.

Section 287 of the INA is amended to add a new provision providing for reimbursement to landowners for negligence of federal officers in border security operations if the owner lacks insurance.
Section 1124. Eradication of Carrizo Cane and Salt Cedar.

Before 1/20/20121, DHS shall coordinate with the heads of other federal, state and local agencies to begin eradicating the Carrizo cane plant and any salt cedar along the Rio Grand River.
Section 1125. Prevention, Detection, Control and Eradication of Diseases and Pests.

The Department of Agriculture may carry out operations to control any pests or livestock or plant diseases that threaten agriculture. DOA may pay claims and compensate industry state agency participants related to these operations.
Section 1126. Transnational Criminal Organizational Illicit Spotter Prevention and Detection.

Chapter 9 of title II of the INA is amended to add a new Section 295 regarding unlawfully hindering immigration, border, and customs controls. It adds a new crime for knowingly transmitting to another person the location, movement, or activities of any law enforcement agency with the intent to further a Federal crime relating to immigration, customs, controlled substances, agriculture, monetary instruments, or other border controls. Fines and up to ten years imprisonment.

New crime for destroying or damaging any fence, barrier, sensor, camera or other physical or electronic device used for border security. Up to ten years imprisonment (20 if involving a firearm).

Conspiracy to commit either of these two crimes also a crime.
Section 1127. Southern Border Threat Analysis.

Within 180 days after enactment DHS shall submit to the House and Senate an analysis

  • assessing the current and potential terrorism and criminal threats posed by individuals and groups seeking to unlawfully enter the US through the southern border or to exploit security vulnerabilities along the southern border.
  • Improvements needed at and between ports of entry to prevent terrorism
  • Gaps in law and policy hindering effective border security, counterterrorism and anti-human smuggling and trafficking efforts
  • The current percentage of situational awareness achieved by DHS along the southern border
  • The current percentage of operational control achieved by DHS along the southern border
  • Traveler crossing times and any potential security vulnerability associated with prolonged wait times.

The report shall be made in an unclassified format, but parts may be classified if appropriate.

Within 180 days after the submission of the threat analysis or June 30, 2018 and every five years, DHS shall issue a Border Patrol Strategic Plan.
Section 1128. Amendments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Technical amendments.
Section 1129. Agent and Officer Technology Use.

In carrying out Section 102 of the 1996 Immigration Act, DHS shall ensure that technology deployed to gain situational awareness and operational control of the border be provided to front-line officers and agents of DHS.
Section 1130. Integrated Border Enforcement Teams.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended to add a new section entitled “Integrated Border Enforcement Teams.” DHS shall create a program called the Integrated Border Enforcement program which is designed to strengthen cooperation between the US and Canada in border enforcement.
Section 1131. Tunnel Task Forces.

DHS is authorized to establish Tunnel Task Forces for the purpose of detecting and remediating tunnels under the border.
Chapter 2 – Personnel
Section 1141. Additional US Customs and Border Protection Agents and Officers.

Not later than 11/30/2021, CBP shall hire not fewer than 26,370 full-time equivalent agents. CBP shall hire not later than 9/30/2021,

  • sufficient CBP officers to maintain an active duty presence of not fewer than 27,725 full-time equivalent officers and 350 full-time support staff.
  • Not fewer than 1,675 full-time agents for Air and Marine Operations and 264 Marine and Air Interdiction Agents.
  • Not fewer than 300 K-9 units. CBP shall increase the number of horseback units by not fewer than 100 officers and 50 horses for patrol along the southern border.
  • Not fewer than 50 the number of officers in search and rescue activities along the southern border.
  • At least 50 the number of officers involved in border tunnel detection.
  • New CBP agricultural specialists
  • Not fewer than 550 full-time equivalent special agents

 

Section 1142. US Customs and Border Protection Retention Incentives.

CBP may pay a hiring bonus of $10,000 to certain CBP employees after the person completes initial basic training and signs a 2-year written employment agreement. The signing bonus program shall last until 9/30/2021 or until the hiring requirements in Section 1141 are met.

Retention bonuses may be paid to CBP employees who have been employed for at least 2 consecutive years and who sign a contract to stay 2 more years. Pay may be up to $25,000 for each year of the written agreement.

Additionally, higher rates of pay (up to 125% of basic pay) may be paid under a new two-year pilot program for CBP employees in specific covered areas. The program may be extended by up to four years.

Base pay is also being increased for CBP employees who have completed 1 year of service.

Border Patrol agents assigned to rural areas shall be entitled to receive hardship duty pay in lieu of the retention incentive noted above.

The overtime limits are being raised from $25,000 to $45,000 for CBP officers.
Section 1143. Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act.

This incorporates the Building America’s Trust Act. The Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010 is amended to waive polygraph testing for applications from law enforcement officers with no fewer than 3 years’ experience and who passed a polygraph test within the past 10 years as a condition to employment with the officer’s current law enforcement agency. The section also waives the requirement for current, full-time Federal law enforcement officers with 3+ years’ experience and who hold a current Tier 4 or Tier 5 background investigation. Further exempts members of the Armed Forces or veterans who have served at least 3 years, have had secret or top-secret clearances and have undergone Tier 4 or 5 background investigations. This section expires after four years.
Section 1144. Training for Officers and Agents of US Customs and Border Protection

CBP shall ensure each agent and officer receive at least 21 weeks of initial training and then at least 8 hours of continuing education each year.
Section 1145. Additional US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Personnel.

By 9/30/2021, ICE shall increase

  • The number of Enforcement and Removal Operations law enforcement officers by not fewer than 8,500.
  • The number of trained full-time active duty Homeland Security Investigation special agents by at least 1,500.
  • The number of Homeland Security Investigation special agents to the Border Enforcement Security Task Force Program by at least 100.

Section 1146. Other Immigration and Law Enforcement Personnel.

By 9/30/2021,

  • DOJ shall increase by not fewer than 100 the number of Assistant US Attorneys and not fewer than 50 the number of Special Assistant US Attorney to litigate denaturalization and other immigration cases in Federal court.
  • DOJ shall increase by 200 the number of trained full-time immigration judges.
  • DOJ shall increase to 25 the number of Board of Immigration Appeals members.
  • DOJ shall increase the number of BIA staff attorneys by at least 50.
  • DOJ shall increase the number of Office of Immigration Litigation attorneys by at least 100.
  • USCIS shall increase by at least 100 the number of full-time active duty Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officers.
  • ICE shall increase the number of full-time Forensic Document Laboratory Examiners by 15, Fingerprint Specialists by 15, Intelligence Officers by 10 and administrative staff by 3.
  • ICE shall increase the number of Office of Principal Legal Advisor attorneys by at least 1200; at least 50 of these are for DOJ to increase the number of ICE attorneys serving as Special Assistant US Attorney on detail to US Attorney offices.
  • USCIS shall increase the number of Office of Chief Counsel attorneys by not fewer than 250 to engage in national security and public safety cases, denaturalization cases and legal sufficiency reviews of immigration benefit decision. At least 50 of these are for DOJ to increase the number of Special Assistant US Attorneys on detail to US Attorney offices.
  • DOS shall increase the number of Bureau of Consular Affairs analysts by at least 50 and the number of active attorney advisers within the Bureau by at least 25 to advise on cases and matters involving the potential for visa denial on the basis of national security and public safety concerns.

 

Section 1147. Judicial Resources for Border Security.

Authorizes funds to increase the number of criminal prosecutions for unlawful border crossing in each sector of the southern border by 80% per day compared to year prior to bill’s enactment. Authorizes funds to pay for any detention costs related to the prosecutions.

Authorizes hiring full-time magistrate judges to hear cases in these sectors. Authorizes 4 additional federal district court judges in Arizona, 2 in Southern District of California, 4 in Western District of Texas and 2 in Southern District of Texas.
Section 1148. Reimbursement to State and Local Prosecutors for Federally Initiated, Immigration-Related Criminal Cases.
DOJ shall reimburse state, tribal and local governments for costs associated with prosecuting federally initiated criminal cases declined to be prosecuted by local office of the US Attorneys unless there is reason to believe that the jurisdiction has engaged in unlawful conduct in connection with immigration-related apprehensions.

Chapter 3 – Grants
Section 1151. State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

INA Section 241(i) is amended to provide additional compensation to state and local governments for detaining undocumented criminal aliens and to broaden compensation to cover incarcerating an “alien with an unknown status.”
Section 1152. Southern Border Security Assistance Grants.

DHS may award grants to law enforcement agencies in the SW border region to obtain equipment and tools, hire more personnel, purchase vehicles and more training. $300M authorized in 2019 (note – typo in bills says year is 1019) and 2020.
Section 1153. Operation Stonegarden.

New program to make grants to eligible law enforcement agencies on border of Canada and Mexico or states with maritime border to obtain new equipment and hire more personnel to assist with border enforcement. $110M per year for FY 2018 to 2020.
Section 1154. Grants for Identification of Victims of Cross-Border Human Smuggling.

DOJ may grant awards to local and tribal governments in states along the southern border for costs of transporting and processing unidentified remains of unidentified aliens.
Section 1155. Grant Accountability.

Describes auditing process for grant recipients.
Chapter 4 – Authorization of Appropriations
Section 1161. Authorization of Appropriations.

Allocation of $2.5 billion authorized for each of FYs 2018 through 2021 to be used by DHS, DOS, US Coast Guard to implement various provisions in the bill.
Subtitle B – Emergency Port of Entry Personnel and Infrastructure Funding.
Section 1201. Definitions.
Section 1202. Ports of Entry Infrastructure.

DHS authorized to construct new ports of entry on southern and northern borders. DHS shall expand or modernize the primary and secondary inspection lanes on the southern border. This modernization must be completed before constructing new ports of entry.
Section 1203. Secure Communications.

DHS shall ensure each CBP and ICE officer/agent is equipped with a 2-way communication device and those patrolling on foot, horseback or with K-9 unit has a multi-or dual-band encrypted portable radio.
Section 1204. Border Security Deployment Program.

Before 9/30/2021, DHS shall implement CBP’s Border Security Deployment Program and expand the integrated surveillance and intrusion detection system at land ports of entry on the two borders.
Section 1205. Pilot and Upgrade of License Plate Readers at Ports of Entry.

Within a year of enactment, CBP shall upgrade all existing license plate readers on borders on in and out lanes. Within 90 days of enactment CBP shall conduct a 1-month pilot program on southern border using to see the impact on wait times.
Section 1206. Biometric Technology.

Within 180 days of enactment, DHS shall create a system to allow for storage of fingerprints, photographs, iris scans, voice prints and any other biometric data of aliens that can be used by DHS and law enforcement agencies. Once this is operational, ICE and USCIS shall conduct a 6-month pilot program to collect and use iris scans and voice prints.
Section 1207. Nonintrusive Inspection Operational Demonstration Project.

Within 6 months of enactment, CBP shall establish a 6-month demonstration project to deploy a high-throughput nonintrusive passenger inspection system at at least 3 land ports with significant traffic on the southern border.
Section 1208. Biometric Exit Data System.

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Within 180 days, DHS shall submit an implementation plan to Congress for establishing a biometric entry and exit data system required under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004.

Within 6 months, DHS shall establish a 6-month pilot program to test the biometric exit data system on non-pedestrian outbound traffic at not fewer than 3 land ports of entry with significant traffic on the southern border and 1 land port on the norther border. This will be expanded to all land ports within 5 years. A 2-year extension is permitted one time. Within 5 years of enactment, the biometric exit data system will be in place at all air and sea ports. The system will compare the data of people exiting to records obtained during entry as well as to law enforcement databases. On the northern border, requirements may be achieved by information sharing with Canadian Border Services Agency.
Section 1209. Sense of Congress on Cooperation Between Agencies.

Sense of Congress that it is in the best interest of cross-border trade and the agricultural community that any lack of certified personnel for inspecting foreign good be addressed by seeking cooperation between agencies and departments of the US.
Section 1210. Authorization of Appropriations.

$1.25 billion for each of FYs 2018 – 2021 for various things like uniforms for CBP, buying cars, implementing the biometric exit data system described in Section 1208, buying aircraft, etc.

Subtitle C – Domestic Security and Interior Enforcement. Chapter 1 – General Matters
Section 1301. Ending Catch and Release for Repeat Immigration Violators and Criminal Aliens.

INA Section 236 replaced with new language stating that DHS, on a warrant issued by DHS, may arrest an alien and detain pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed up until the alien has an administratively final order of removal. DHS may continue to detain the arrested alien, release on at bond of at least $5000 or release on his or her own recognizance if no danger to the safety of other persons or of property and is likely to appear for any scheduled proceeding. No employment or travel authorization until the alien has permanent residence or otherwise would be provided such authorization. DHS may revoke bond or parole and rearrest and detain.

 

Mandatory detention if the alien –

Has not been admitted or paroled into the us; and

  • Was apprehended anywhere within 100 miles of the international border of the US;
  • Is inadmissible by reason of having committed any offense in INA 212(a)(2) [most non-misdemeanor crimes];
  • Is deportable for having committed an offense in INA 237(a)(2) [most non- misdemeanor crimes];
  • Is convicted for an offense under INA 275(a) [improper entry by an alien];
  • Is convicted for an offense under INA 276 [improper reentry of a removed alien];
  • Is convicted for any criminal offense; or
  • Is inadmissible under INA 212(a)(3)(B) or deportable under INS 237(A)(4)(B).

In short, most immigrants who entered the US illegally or who have committed crimes will be subjected to mandatory detention if arrested by ICE. Release only permitted if the release from custody is needed to protect a witness or potential witness in a criminal investigation or the alien demonstrates that the alien is not a flight risk, poses no danger to safety of others, is not a threat to national security or public safety and appears likely to appear at a scheduled proceeding.
Section 1302. Deterring Visa Overstay.

INA Section 214 of the INA is amended to bar visa overstays without good cause from being eligible for any immigration benefit or relief other than asylum, relief as a victim of trafficking, relief as a victim of criminal activity, VAWA petitions, relief as a battered spouse, withholding of removal or protection of removal under the Convention Against Torture. DHS may, in its sole unreviewable discretion, determine that a nonimmigrant is not subject to this bar if the alien was lawfully admitted as a non-immigrant, the alien filed a nonfrivolous application for another NIV category or extension of stay before the date of expiration of the alien’s authorized period of stay as an NIV, the alien hasn’t been engaged in unauthorized work, the alien hasn’t otherwise violated the alien’s NIV status and DHS determines no threat to national security or public safety. Good cause means “exigent humanitarian circumstances” such as medical emergencies or lack of control by the alien.

NIV applications must include an acknowledgment, executed by the alien under penalty of perjury confirming the applicant’s understanding of all of this.

DOS is likewise barred from issuing visas to people covered by the above language.

Visa Waiver Program entrants must sign a similar acknowledgment. Also, any alien who fails to depart at the end of the 90-day admission period shall be detained.
Section 1303. Increase in Immigration Detention Capacity.

By 9/30/2018, DHS shall increase immigrant detention capacity to a daily capacity of at least 48,879 beds.
Section 1304. Collection of DNA From Criminal And Detained Aliens.

DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 amended. DHS shall collect DNA samples from any alien who has been detained and is subject of final order of removal.
Section 1305. Collection, Use and Storage of Biometric Data.

DHS may require anyone filing an application for an immigration benefit to submit biometric information. This data can be used for background checks and shared with other agencies.
Section 1306 Pilot Program for Electronic Field Processing.

Within 6 months, DHS shall make a pilot program in 5 of 10 ICE offices with largest removal caseloads to allow ICE to use handheld or vehicle-mounted computers to electronically process and serve charging documents (including notices to appear), process and place detainers,  collect biometric data, enter required data about an alien and apply electronic signatures of the issuing ICE officer or agent, set the date on which the alien is required to appear before an immigration judge and print any documents the alien may be required to sign.
Section 1307. Ending Abuse of Parole Authority.

INA Section 212(d)(5) amended to state that parole status is not an admission to the US. If the alien was paroled from custody, the alien will return to the custody from which the alien was paroled shall be considered for admission to the US on the same basis as other similarly situated applicants for admission.

Parole may not be used to parole in generalized categories of aliens or classes of aliens based solely on nationality, presence or residence in the US, family relationships, or any other criteria that would cover a broad group of foreign nationals either inside or outside the US. Urgent humanitarian reason means a medical emergency that can’t be treated in the alien’s country of

residence and there isn’t enough time for normal visa processing, the alien is needed in the US for organ/tissue donation for transplant to a close relative the alien has a relative in the US whose death is imminent, the alien is a lawful applicant for adjustment of status under INA Section 245 or the alien granted status under INA 207 or 208 [refugees and asylees].

Public interest defined as assisting the US government in a matter and the alien’s presence in the US is required by the government or the alien’s life would be threatened if not permitted to come to the US.

Parole cannot be used for people denied refugee status.

An alien who leaves the US temporarily pursuant to a grant of advance parole makes a departure from the US pursuant to immigration laws.

Effective 60 days after bill enactment. Section 1308. Reports to Congress on Parole.

Outlines timing and content of reporting on Section 1307. Section 1309. Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act.

State/local governments who have executed INA 287(g) agreements shall be deemed as DHS agents and shall all authority available to DHS employees. No liability for false imprisonment or arrest shall lie against such governments and officers engaged in complying with detainers are deemed employees of the Federal government and acting within scope of his or her employment and the US shall be deemed the defendant in any such proceedings against them.

 

Sanctuary cities defined to be governments that have executed 287(g) agreements that don’t share information on immigration status and don’t comply with detainers or notify DHS about the release of individuals. Doesn’t apply in cases of witnesses to or victims of crimes.

Sanctuary cities barred from various economic development administration grants, grants for public works and economic development, grants for planning and administrative expenses, grants for training and research, community development block grants, and grants for the protection of individuals against crime.
Section 1310. Reinstatement of the Secure Communities Program. Brings back this program that was in place between 2008 and 2014.

 

Chapter 2 – Protection and Due Process for Unaccompanied Alien Children.

 

Section 1320. Short Title – “Protecting Children and America’s Homeland Act of 2017”
Section 1321. Repatriation of Unaccompanied Alien Children.

Amends William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. Current law allows children from contiguous countries to be returned to returned. This amendment would broaden to all unaccompanied children. Allows for expedited removal of children believed to have criminal convictions or who are gang members.
Section 1322. Expedited Due Process and Screening for Unaccompanied Alien Children.

Within a week after screening an unaccompanied minor under the Wilberforce rules, an immigration judge shall conduct and conclude a proceeding to determine the status of an unaccompanied minor who is an applicant for admission to the US. For those seeking asylum, the judge shall conduct fact finding to see if the child is covered by Wilberforce. An order must be issued by the judge within 72 hours. Hearings may be held in person, by video conference or telephonically. If it is impractical because of the mental capacity of the child to have them at the hearing, DOJ shall prescribe safeguards to protect their rights and privileges.

Children will be provided access to counsel under the Wilberforce rules and shall have the right to examine evidence against them, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Children shall have the right at any time before a removal order is issued to withdraw the application for admission and return to the country of residence.

If a judge determines burden of proof not met, the judge shall order the alien removed unless the alien claims asylum under INA 208; a fear of persecution or a fear of torture. Asylum claims are referred for interviews to asylum officers. If the asylum officer deems there to be a credible fear, the child shall be held in HHS custody while the case is pending. If the asylum officer deems no credible fear, the officer shall order the child removed from the US without further hearing or review. DOJ shall establish a process by which an immigration judge shall conduct a prompt review of such an order. The judge should conduct this review within 24 hours to 7 days. No administrative appeals beyond this. Rulemaking required.
Section 1323. Child Welfare and Law Enforcement Information Sharing.

DHS and HHS information will share information on the immigration status of people they place Wilberforce unaccompanied children and DHS may target such sponsors for immigration enforcement.
Section 1324. Accountability for Children and Taxpayers.

HHS shall conduct regular inspections of facilities used by HHS for detaining unaccompanied minors.
Section 1325. Custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children in Formal Removal Proceeding.

Children in formal removal proceedings may not be placed in the custody of nongovernmental sponsors or otherwise released from US government custody unless the sponsor is a parent/legal guardian, the parent/guardian is legally present in the US, the parent/guardian has undergone a criminal check, the relationship tested by DNA or adoption verified, and HHS has determined the child is not a danger to himself or the community or a flight risk. Exceptions made for trafficking victims, special needs kids, and victims of abuse.  15-17 year olds placed with nongovernmental sponsors must enroll in an ICE alternative to detention program and where an ankle bracelet.

Home studies, background checks prescribed for HHS monitoring of placement of children.
Section 1326. Fraud in Connection with the Transfer of Custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children.

Creates new crime for a person to obtain custody of an unaccompanied alien child via fraud. One year minimum with enhanced penalties in trafficking cases.
Section 1327. Notification of States and Foreign Governments, Reporting and Monitoring.

DHS or HHS shall notify a governor of a state within 48 hours before placing an unaccompanied minor in custody of a facility or sponsor in their state. DHS shall notify the government of the child’s country to assist with the identification and reunification of the child with the parent or other qualifying relative.
Section 1328. Emergency Immigration Judge Resources.

Within 14 days of enactment, DOJ shall designate up to 100 immigration judges, including rehiring retired judges to conduct expedited screening and reduce backlogs.
Section 1329. Reports to Congress. Outlines reporting requirements.

Subtitle D – Penalties for Smuggling, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Terrorism, and Illegal Entry and Reentry; Bars to Readmission of Removed Aliens.
Section 1401. Dangerous Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Violations.

Broadens definition of trafficking to including transporting aliens within the US or transporting to the US. Increases penalties for these crimes. Allows for the seizing of real estate and personal property involved in or used to harbor or conceal aliens.
Section 1402. Putting the Brakes on Human Smuggling Act.

Using a commercial motor vehicle in aiding or abetting an illegal entry to the US added to the existing statute language. Allows for commercial vehicle operators to be barred from operating commercial vehicles if they are found in violation of this section.
Section 1403. Drug Trafficking and Crimes of Violence Committed by Illegal Aliens.

New chapter added to the US criminal code entitled “Drug Trafficking and Crimes of Violence Committed by Illegal Aliens.” Enhanced criminal penalties for crimes committed by unlawfully present immigrants. Fines and up to five years imprisonment. Immigrants previously ordered removed subject to 15 year sentence and the imprisonment shall be consecutive with any term imposed for the offense itself.
Section 1404. Establishing Inadmissibility and Deportability.

Allows an immigration judge to broaden review of court and police documents to determine if a crime is one of moral turpitude or domestic violence.
Section 1405. Penalties for Illegal Entry; Enhanced Penalties for Entering With Intent to Aid, Abet or Commit Terrorism.

INA Section 275 replaced with new much broader provision barring people who enter the US illegally from being eligible for any immigration benefits.  Also increases criminal penalties if the person has previous convictions (including misdemeanors). Enhanced penalties for terrorism- related offenses (extra ten to thirty years imprisonment). Bar on immigration benefits applies to entries on or after date of enactment.
Section 1406. Penalties for Reentry of Removed Aliens (“Kate’s Law”)

Aliens previously removed who illegally reenters within 10 years subject to imprisonment of up to 5 years. Up to 15 years if removed for criminal violations or has been removed 2 or more times. Imprisonment of up to 25 years for those previously convicted of the most serious crimes. Mandatory minimum sentencing. Removes the ability to challenge the validity of the underlying removal order unless the alien demonstrates exhausting any administrative remedies available, the proceedings deprived the alien of the opportunity for judicial review and the entry of the order was fundamentally unfair.

Aliens who reenter the US after they were released on parole or supervised release will have their sentences reinstated and will be incarcerated for the remainder.
Section 1407. Laundering of Monetary Instruments. Enhanced enforcement and penalties for money laundering.
Section 1409. Criminal Proceeds Laundered Through Prepaid Access Devices, Digital Currencies, or Other Similar Instruments

Not immigration related.
Section 1410. Closing the Loophole on Drug Cartel Associates Engaged in Money Laundering. Not immigration related.
Subtitle E – Protecting National Security and Public Safety Chapter 1 – General Matters
Section 1501. Definitions of Engage in Terrorist Activity and Terrorist Organization.

Broadens definition of terrorist activity to include intending to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property.
Section 1502. Terrorist Grounds of Inadmissibility.

Broadens terrorism grounds to include past activities versus currently being part of a terrorist group. Bars spouses and children of people deemed inadmissible as terrorists if the spouse or child should have reasonably known of the activities. Adds new language stating anyone who is an officer of the Palestinian Liberation Organization is considered to be engaged in terrorist activity.
Section 1503. Expedited Removal for Aliens Inadmissible on Criminal or Security Grounds.

Provides an alternative faster means to remove individuals subject to terrorism removal grounds. Only applies to people subject to INA Section 240 removal after the law takes effect.
Section 1504. Detention of Removable Aliens.

INA Section 287 amended to include new section allowing for creation of criminal alien enforcement partnerships between DHS and state and local governments to facilitate collecting immigration information and arranging for the immediate transfer to federal custody of criminal aliens when the alien is released.

Imposes removal orders automatically for people who reenter illegally after voluntary departure. Limits judicial review in these instances.
Section 1505. GAO Study on Deaths in Custody.

Within a year of enactment, the Comptroller General of the US shall submit a report to Congress on the deaths in custody of detainees held by DHS.
Section 1506. GAO Study on Migrant Deaths.

Within a year of enactment, the Comptroller General of the US shall submit a report to Congress on the number of migrant deaths on the southern border in the prior 7 years, the number of unidentified deceased migrants found along the southern border in the prior 7 years, the level of cooperation between CBP and local law enforcement, foreign governments and family members to identify these people, the use of DNA to identify people and the procedures of CBP to notify authorities and family members after DNA testing.
Section 1507. Statute of Limitations for Visa, Naturalization, and Other Fraud Offenses Involving War Crimes or Human Rights Violations.

Creates a 20 year statute of limitations for fraud crimes related to these offenses. Section 1508. Criminal Detention of Aliens to Protect Public Safety.

Creates a presumption of being a flight risk for criminal offenses related to immigration if the person has not lawful immigration status and is subject to a final order of removal.
Section 1509. Recruitment of Persons to Participate in Terrorism.

Creates new crime related to such recruitment (not specifically immigration-related).
Section 1510. Barring and Removing Persecutors, War Criminals, and Participants in Crimes Against Humanity from the United States.

Broadens language defining crimes against humanity and roles in committing crimes that subject someone to the language of the INA. Removes INA 212(d)(3)(A) waiver option for persecutors. Broadens bars for severe violations of religious freedom. Increases penalties for female genital mutilation and material support in recruiting child soldiers.
Section 1511. Gang Membership, Removal, and Increased Criminal Penalties Related to Gang Violence.

Broadens rules allowing for people to be deemed inadmissible for alleged association with criminal gangs. Enough if a consular officer, DHS or DOJ official “knows or has reasonable ground to believe” a person was or is a member of a gang. Exceptions if the person didn’t know the activity of the group or the person has renounced the activity. Persons who have been members of criminal gangs are deportable. DHS and DOJ are empowered to designate criminal gangs. Creates new bars to filing for asylum and eligibility for voluntary departure for certain gang members.
Section 1512. Barring Aliens with Convictions for Driving Under the Influence or While Intoxicated.

New aggravated felony for a DUI if it results in serious bodily injury or death of another person or a person is convicted of a second DUI regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony under state law.

An alien convicted of a DUI in the US is inadmissible. An alien convicted of a DUI in the US is deportable. Applies to convictions after the law takes effect.
Section 1513. Barring Aggravated Felons, Border Checkpoint Runners, and Sex Offenders from Admission to the US.

Creates new ground of inadmissibility for social security number ID theft, attempting to procure citizenship falsely, or illegally procuring a firearm. Any alien convicted of an aggravated felony at any time is inadmissible. New inadmissibility ground for high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint. New inadmissibility grounds for failing to register as a sex offender, stalking, child abuse, child neglect and child abandonment. Broadens inadmissibility language related to domestic violence. New waiver possibilities for victims of domestic violence if they are charged with domestic violence.
Section 1514. Protecting Immigrants From Convicted Sex Offenders.
Section 204(a)(1) is amended to broaden bars on immigration benefits to child pornographers and certain prostitution convicted felons.
Section 1515. Enhanced Criminal Penalties for High Speed Flight.

Creates new crime for the offense of using a car or boat to flee or evade a checkpoint. Section 1516. Prohibition on Asylum and Cancellation of Removal for Terrorists.

Increases the proof burdens on asylum applicants. Section 1517. Aggravated Felonies.

Broadens sex abuse of a minor aggravated felony to include any conviction of a sex offense in which the alien abused someone younger than 18 regardless of the reason and extent of the act, the sentence imposed or the elements in the offense required for the conviction.

Broadens language for convictions for threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon, theft offenses, forging passports.

Makes it impossible to avoid aggravated felony in cases of reversal, vacatur, expungement, or modification of a conviction if done to ameliorate the immigration consequences of a conviction.
Section 1518. Convictions.

For purposes of determining if an underlying criminal offense constitutes a ground of inadmissibility, all offenses are divisible such that if any of the conduct encompassed by the statute constitutes an inadmissible offense, then the person is inadmissible. And for purposes of determining if an offense constitutes a ground of inadmissibility, the DOJ, DOS and DHS may consider other evidence related to the conviction including police reports and witness statements. The same will be true for considering whether offenses are grounds for deportability
Section 1519. Failure to Obey Removal Orders.

Technical amendment to treat failing to obey a removal order as both a ground for inadmissibility and deportability.
Section 1520. Sanctions for Countries that Delay or Prevent Repatriation of Their Nationals.

INA Section 243(c) is replaced with the requirement to list countries that refuse or delay repatriation of aliens who are nationals of that country. This will begin 6 months after enactment. Exceptions may be made in the case of “significant foreign policy or security concerns.” Visas may be denied to nationals of countries on this list if DOS orders consul officers to discontinue granting visas. Visa issuance may resume once DOS notifies consulates that the country is accepting removed aliens.
Section 1521. Enhanced Penalties for Construction and Use of Border Tunnels.

Imposes a minimum sentence and eliminates maximum sentence for certain offenses related to building and using a border tunnel.
Section 1522. Enhanced Penalties for Fraud and Misuse of Visas, Permits, and Other Documents.

Imposes minimum sentence for visa fraud of 12 years and maximum of 25 years (if an act committed to facilitate an act of terrorism, 10-20 years (if committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime, 5-10 years (first or second offense and not terror or drug-related) or 7-15 for any other offense.
Section 1523. Expansion of Criminal Alien Repatriation Programs.

Within 90 days of enactment, DHS shall increase by at least 15% the number of CBP and ICE criminal and illegal alien repatriation flights from the US. Within 90 days of enactment, DHS shall expand ICE Air Ops for aliens illegally present in the US.

 

Chapter 2 – Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act.
Section 1531. Short Title – “Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act.”
Section 1532. Visa Security.

Amends Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by requiring DHS employees serve at no fewer than 50 diplomatic and consular posts at which visas are issued. The posts will be  selected based on the number of nationals of a country located in terror databases, information on cooperation of the country in counterterrorism efforts, information on terror activity within the country, the number of formal objections issued by the Visa Security Advisory Opinion Unit (to be established within ICE), the adequacy of border and immigration control of the country and any other appropriate criteria. In at least 50 locations without DHS-assigned employees, DHS shall assign employees remotely to perform those functions.
Section 1533. Electronic Passport Screening and Biometric Matching.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended to add a new section calling on CBP within 1 year to screen electronic passports at airports by reading each passport’s embedded chips and utilizing facial recognition technology or other biometric technology to inspect travelers. CBP shall, in a risk-based manner, continuously screen individuals issued an visa against appropriate criminal, national security, and terrorism databases maintained by the Federal government.
Section 1534. Reporting Visa Overstays.

Public Law 105-173, passed in 1998, is amended. That law required maintaining and reporting to Congress data on the overstays of non-immigrant visas. This provision requires reporting additional data such as the percent of the total number of aliens admitted from the country who are overstays and the types of documents and particular ports used for entry.
Section 1535. Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Verification.

Within 90 days of enactment, DHS shall ensure that information collected in SEVIS is available to officers of CBP at each port of entry to the US.
Section 1536. Social Media Review of Visa Applicants.

Within 180 days of enactment, DHS shall, to the extent practicable, review the social media accounts of visa applicants who are citizens of high risk countries. DHS will also review open source information of visa applicants.
Chapter 3 – Visa Cancellation and Revocation. Section 1541. Cancellation of Additional Visas.
INA Section 222(g) is expanded to also lead to the cancellation of any visa an an overstay has and not just the visa that was the subject of the overstay.
Section 1542. Visa Information Sharing.

INA Section 222(f) is expanded to clarify that information sharing with foreign governments shall be based on reciprocity and allows information sharing with such governments in connection with determining deportability and inadmissibility. Allows sharing as well for national security or public safety or if it is in the national interest. 60 day effective date.
Section 1543. Visa Interviews.

INA 222(h) amended to allow for interviews to be waived if an applicant is determined to be ineligible for a visa or is within a class of aliens DHS has determined to pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Section 1544. Judicial Review of Visa Revocation.

INA Section 221(i) is amended to consider a cancellation by a consulate of a visa to automatically cancel any other valid visa in the alien’s possession.
Chapter 4 – Secure Visas Act.
Section 1551. Short Title – Secure Visas Act”
Section 1552. Authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended to give DOS the authority to issue rules and policies relating to the function of consular officers of the US. Also broadens authority to refuse or revoke visas for any alien or class of aliens if DOS determines this is necessary for national security. Not reviewable by the courts. Revocations shall be posted on screening databases and look-out notices shall be posted to port inspectors and consular officers.

 

Chapter 5 – Visa Fraud and Security Improvement Act of 2017.

 

Section 1561. Short Title – “Visa Fraud and Security Improvement Act of 2017.”
Section 1562. Expanded Usage of Fraud Prevention and Detection Fees.

INA 286(v)(2)(A) is amended to broaden the use of funds designed for visa fraud prevention to cover all visa fraud and not just H and L visas as in the current INA 286(v)(2)(A)(i).
Section 1563. Visa Information Sharing.

INA 222(f) is amended to expand information sharing with foreign governments from visa applications if needed to prevent terrorism or determine removability or eligibility for a visa. [appears to overlap Section 1542].
Section 1564. Inadmissibility of Spouses and Children of Traffickers.

INA Section 212(a)(2) is amended to clarify that bar on admissibility of spouses and children of traffickers applies to people formerly acting as traffickers and not just those currently engaged in trafficking.
Section 1565. DNA Testing.

 

INA 222(b) is amended to expand the documentation that may be requested by a consular officer to include DNA evidence to show a family relationship.
Section 1566. Access to NCIC Criminal History Database for Diplomatic Visas.

Creates an exception to the requirement to collect fingerprints from diplomats for record collections covered by the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Act of 1998.
Section 1567. Elimination of Signed Photograph Requirement for Visa Applications.

INA 221(b) is amended to eliminate the requirement for applicants to sign photographs supplied with visa applications.

 

Chapter 6 – Other Matters.

 

Section 1571. Requirement for Completion of Background Checks.

INA 103 is amended by adding at the end a new paragraph DHS and DOM may not approve or grant any benefit until all background and security checks have been completed and DHS or the DOJ has determined that the result of such checks do not preclude the approval or grant of any status.
Section 1572. Withholding of Adjudication.

INA 203 is amended by adding language that nothing in the INA and no court can require the approval of any benefit or visa to one subject to a criminal proceeding or investigation if the official determines this to be material to the alien’s eligibility for the status or benefit.

Adjudication may be withheld until a final resolution of the proceeding or investigation is reached. This doesn’t apply to matters affected by the UN Convention Against Torture.
Section 1573. Access to the National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index.

INA 104 is amended to add language that any DOS personnel with authority to adjudicate visas or passports may carry out activities with a criminal justice purpose. INA 105 is amended to expand access by DHS to NCIC data and DOS and DHS may contribute to the NCIC records database.
Section 1574. Appropriate Remedies for Immigration Litigation.

 

No court may certify a class under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in any civil action that pertains to the administration or enforcement of immigration laws unless the Government requests class certification to ensure efficiency in case management.

If a court decides to grant relief in an immigration case against the Government, the court shall limit the relief to the minimum necessary to correct the violation of law, minimize the impact on national security, border security, immigration administration and enforcement and public safety, and provide an expiration date for the relief.

Preliminary injunctive relief shall expire after 90 days unless the court finds the relief merited and issues a final order granting prospective relief before the 90-day period ends. If the Government files a motion to stay a ruling against it within 15 days, the order will automatically be stayed until the court enters an order granting or denying the Government’s motion.

 

Section 1575. Use of 1986 IRCA Legalization Information for National Security Purposes.

Allows for disclosure of information collected in the 1986 Act’s Special Agricultural Worker program to the US Census and for national security purposes.
Section 1576. Uniform Statute of Limitation for Certain Immigration, Naturalization, and Peonage Offenses.

Provides a 10-year statute of limitations for commission of certain nationality and citizenship offenses or passport, visa, and immigration offenses.
Section 1577. Conforming Amendment to the Definition of Racketeering Activity. Section 1578. Validity of Electronic Signatures.

Provides for accepting electronic signatures on immigration applications.  Subtitle F – Prohibition on Terrorists Obtaining Lawful Status in the United States

 

Chapter 1 – Prohibition of Adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident Status. Section 1601. Lawful Permanent Residents as Applicants for Admission.

INA 101(a)(13)(C) is amended to expand reasons a lawful permanent resident may be denied readmission to the US to include people inadmissible based on terror or security grounds.
Section 1602. Date of Admission for Purposes of Adjustment of Status.

INA 101(a)(13) is amended by adding by making it possible to consider each admission as a permanent resident to be a new admission for purposes of restarting the five year clock to bar people convicted of crimes of moral turpitude.
Section 1603. Precluding Asylee and Refugee Adjustment of Status for Certain Grounds of Inadmissibility and Deportability.

INA 209(c) is amended to bar asylees and refugees from adjusting to permanent residency if they are deportable under any part of INA 237 (except the public charge section).
Section 1604. Revocation of Lawful Permanent Resident Status for Human Rights Violators.

INA 240(b)(5) is amended to state that aliens who fail to appear in removal proceedings who are outside the US and have committed severe violations of religious freedom, Nazi persecution, genocide, extrajudicial killing, torture or recruiting or using child soldiers shall be ordered deported in absentia.
Section 1605. Removal of Condition on Lawful Permanent Resident Status Prior to Naturalization.

Chapter 2 of title II of the INA is amended to only include time spent in conditional permanent residence for purposes of naturalization if the conditional status has been removed.
Section 1606. Prohibition on Terrorists and Aliens Who Pose a Threat to National Security or Public Safety from Receiving an Adjustment of Status.

Broadens INA 245(a) to allow DHS to prohibit applying for adjustment of status in the US an applicant who is a potential threat to national security or public safety and require processing at a consulate. Amends INA 245(c) to add a new bar to adjusting for aliens who have committed, ordered, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.
Section 1607. Treatment of Applications for Adjustment of Status During Pending Denaturalization Proceedings.

No adjusting status under INA 245 if a person has a naturalization revocation application pending [query – how is that possible?] Section 1608. Extension of Time Limit to Permit Rescission of Permanent Resident Status.

INA 246 is amended. This section allows USCIS to rescind adjustment of status if the person wasn’t eligible in the first place. The timeframe to do this is lengthened from 5 to 10 years. No review permitted. Adjustment of status need not be rescinded before removal proceedings commence.
Section 1609. Barring Persecutors and Terrorists from Registry.

INA 249 is amended to bar persecutors and terrorists (or who is otherwise not ineligible for citizenship) who have been in the US since before 1/1/1972 from applying for green cards via the Registry.

 

Chapter 2 – Prohibition on Naturalization and United States Citizenship.
Section 1621. Barring Terrorists from Becoming Naturalized United States Citizens.

INA 316 is amended to bar naturalization of people who are described in the security and terrorism sections of the INA. People who acquired naturalization through a parent who are covered by the security/terrorism language shall be deemed to have lost their citizenship.
Section 1622. Terrorist Bar to Good Moral Character.

INA 101(f)’s definition of good moral character is amended. Aggravated felonies are a bar to good moral character even if the crime wasn’t an aggravated felony at the time of conviction. Also includes people covered in security/terrorism language of INA.
Section 1623. Prohibition on Judicial Review of Naturalization Applications for Aliens in Removal Proceedings.

INA 318 is amended to bar judicial review of denials of naturalization for applications denied because an alien is in removal proceedings.
Section 1624. Limitation on Judicial Review When Agency Has Not Made Decision on Naturalization Application and on Denials.

Amends INA 336(b) which permits naturalization applicants to go to federal district court after 120 days with no decision and a judge can decide case or remand back to USCIS to force a decision. Amendment would expand this to 180 days and only give court the ability to review the basis for delay and remand back to USCIS to decide the case.

The reviewability of naturalization denials by courts is also restricted to just the issues of good moral character, whether the person understands and is attached to the principles of the Constitution or is well disposed to the good order and happiness of the US.
Section 1625. Clarification of Denaturalization Authority.

INA 340(c) is deleted (generally regards revoking naturalizations of communists) and replaced with a new provision stating Government has the burden of proof in naturalization revocation matters based on illegally procuring citizenship or procuring by concealment of a material fact.
Section 1626. Denaturalization of Terrorists.

Permits denaturalization of people who engage in terrorist activities (including inciting terrorism or engaging in terrorist training) within 15 years of naturalizing.
Section 1627. Treatment of Pending Applications During Denaturalization Proceedings.

INA 204(b) is amended to bar adjudicating immigrant applications based on immediate family relationships if an individual is in denaturalization proceedings. Decisions will be withheld until the denaturalization process is concluded.
Section 1628. Naturalization Document Retention.

A new INA 345 is added to require DHS to retain all naturalization application documents for 7 years for law enforcement and national security investigations and for litigation purposes.

 

Chapter 3 – Forfeiture of Proceeds from Passport and Visa Offenses, and Passport Revocation. Section 1631. Forfeiture of Proceeds from Passport and Visa Offenses.

Any property, real or personal, that has been used to commit or facilitate the commission of passport and visa offenses in 18 USC 981 shall be subject to forfeiture.
Section 1632. Passport Revocation Act.

Amends the Passport Act of 1926 (yes, that’s correct). Adds a new Section 5 to allow DOS to refuse a passport to people convicted of terrorism offenses or who are determined by DOS to be affiliated with terrorist organizations. Passports may be revoked as well for these reasons. Exceptions may be made for emergency circumstances, humanitarian reasons and law enforcement purposes.

 

TITLE II – ASYLUM REFORM AND BORDER PROTECTION ACT OF 2017

Section 2001. Short Title. “Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2017”.
Section 2002. Clarification of Intent regarding Taxpayer-Provided Counsel.

 

INA 292 is amended to expand the bar on government funding for immigrants’ defenses in

removal proceedings to state that no government funding allowed for appeals either. Section 2003. Unaccompanied Alien Child Defined.

Narrows definition in cases where a sibling over 18 or an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or cousin older than 18 is available to provide care and physical custody.
Section 2004. Modifications to Preferential Availability for Asylum for Unaccompanied Alien Minors.

INA 208 is amended to make it harder for unaccompanied minors to apply for asylum. Under current law, the requirement to apply within a year and have no safe third country to which the asylum applicant can be removed, do not apply to unaccompanied minors. This exception is removed by this amendment.
Section 2005. Information Sharing Between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

Amends the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to require HHS to share information on an unaccompanied alien child with DHS.
Section 2006. Reports.
Section 2007. Termination of Asylum Status Pursuant to Return to Home Country.

Asylum may be terminated if the alien, without a compelling reason, returns to the home country or country of last habitual residence. Waivers may be granted if there are compelling reasons to return. Exception for Cubans.
Section 2008. Asylum Cases for Home Schoolers.

People persecuted for this reason are deemed to have been persecuted on account of membership in a social group. Limits to 500 the number of asylum grants based on forced abortions.
Section 2009. Notice Concerning Frivolous Asylum Applications.

Requires a written warning on asylum applications advising of consequences of filing a frivolous application for asylum.
Section 2010. Termination of Asylum Status.

Clarifies that immigration judge shall determine whether asylum termination conditions are met and, if so, the judge shall terminate the alien’s asylum status before considering whether the alien is eligible for adjustment of status under INA 209.
Section 2011. Time Limits for Applying for Asylum.

Cuts from one year to six months the time an alien has to apply for asylum after entering the US. Exceptions if there have been extraordinary and material changes in circumstances in the country.
Section 2012. Limits on Continuances in Removal Proceedings.

Limits to 2 the number of continuances that may be granted in removal proceedings.

 

TITLE III – E-VERIFY

 

Section 3001. Permanent Reauthorization.

Changes E-Verify from a pilot to a permanent program. Section 3002. Preemption; Liability.

States may not prohibit a person from using E-Verify. Employers immunized from liability for wrongful terminations based on good faith reliance on E-Verify.
Section 3003. Information Sharing.

The Commissioner of Social Security, DHS Secretary, and Treasury Secretary shall establish a joint program to share information to lead to identifying unauthorized aliens, including no- match letters and any information in the earnings suspense file.
Section 3004. Small Business Demonstration Program.

Section 403 of the 1996 Act added to include a new program within 9 months created by USCIS to assist small businesses in rural areas or areas without Internet to verify employment through use of publicly accessible Internet terminals.
Section 3005. Fraud Prevention.

DHS and SSA shall establish a program where suspect SS#s are blocked from use in E-Verify unless the individual using the number can show they are the legitimate holder of the number. Victims of ID theft will be provided a way to suspend or limit the use of their SS# in E-Verify.

DHS shall establish a program to provide a reliable way for parents/guardians to suspend or limit use of ID information on a minor in E-Verify.
Section 3006. Identity Authentication Employment Eligibility Verification Pilot Programs.

Within 2 years of enactment, DHS shall establish not fewer than 2 ID Authentication Employment Eligibility Verification pilot programs each of which shall use a separate technology.

 

TITLE IV – BRIDGE ACT
Section 5001 . Short Title  – The “Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act” or the “BRIDGE Act”
Section 4002. Provisional Protected Presence for Young Individuals.

INA is amended by adding a new Section 244A. Provisional Protected Presence. Definitions –

DACA recipient – person in deferred action status on the date of enactment of this section pursuant to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program announced on 6/12/2012.

Felony – any federal, state or local criminal offense punishable for a year exceeding one year.

Misdemeanor – any federal, state or local criminal offense (excluding offenses that are immigration-related, significant misdemeanors, or a traffic offense) punishable for between five days and a year and the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less.

Secretary – Secretary of Homeland Security

Significant Misdemeanor – any federal, state or local criminal offense (excluding offenses that are immigration-related, significant misdemeanors, or a traffic offense) punishable for between five days and a year that is a crime of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence (if the state law requires a finding of blood alcohol content of .08 or higher) or resulted in a sentence of time in custody of more than 90 days.

Threat to National Security – An alien is a threat to national security if the alien is Inadmissible under 212(a)(3) or deportable under 237(a)(4) [security grounds]

Threat to Public Safety – An alien is a threat to public safety if the alien has been convicted of an offense which an element was participation in a criminal street gane or has engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.

 

DHS shall grant provisional protected presence to an alien who files an application showing he or she meets the eligibility criteria and pays the appropriate fee. DHS may not remove aliens while they have provisional protected presence unless that status is rescinded. Those aliens shall be provided with employment authorization.

 

Eligibility Criteria. Aliens are eligible for Provisional Protected Presence if the alien

  • was born after June 15, 1981;
  • entered the US before attaining 16 years of age;
  • continuously resided in the US between June 15, 2007 and the date the alien filed an application under this section;
  • was physically present in the US on June 15, 2012 and on the date the alien files an application under this section;
  • was unlawfully present in the US on June 15, 2012;
  • on the date on which the alien files an application for provisional protected presence:
    • is enrolled in school or an education program assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law or in passing a GED exam;
    • has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school;
    • has obtained a general educational development certificate; or
    • is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US has not been convicted of:
      • a felony;
      • a significant misdemeanor; or
      • three or more misdemeanors not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct; and
      • does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or a threat to public safety.

Duration of provisional protected presence and employment authorization – PPP and EAD provided under the bill shall be effective until the date that is three years after the date of enactment.
Status during period of PPP – Aliens granted PPP are not considered to be unlawfully present in the US during the period beginning on the date such status is granted and ending on the date noted above. Granting PPP doesn’t not excuse previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.

 

Application –

 

Age requirement – must be at least 15 on the date on which the alien submits an application under this section. Exception – Age requirement of 15 doesn’t apply to alien if, on the date alien applies for PPP, is in removal proceedings, has a final removal order or has a voluntary departure order.
Application fee – DHS may charge a reasonable fee commensurate with the cost of processing the application. Exemptions available for those under 18 with income below 150% of the poverty limit and who are in foster care or lacking parental or familial support or is under 18  and is homeless, or cannot care for himself or herself because of a serious chronic disability and has income below 150% of the poverty limit, or has medical debt over $10,000 and has income less than 150% of the poverty limit.

DHS may not remove an alien from the US who appears prima facie eligible for PPP while the PPP application is pending.

Aliens not in immigration detention but who are in removal proceedings, are subject to a final removal order or are the subject of a voluntary departure order, may apply for PPP under this section if the alien appears prima facie eligible for PPP.

DHS shall provide any alien in immigration detention, including any alien who is in removal proceedings, is the subject of a final removal order, who appears prima facie eligible for PPP, upon request, with a reasonable opportunity to apply for PPP.
Confidentiality – DHS shall protect information provided in applications for PPP under this section and in requests for consideration of DACA from disclosure to ICE and CBP for enforcement proceedings. DHS may not refer people who cases have been deferred pursuant to DACA or who have been granted PPP. Exception to share information if needed for consideration of the application for PPP, to identify or prevent fraud, for national security and to investigate or prosecute any felony not related to immigration status.
Acceptance of applications – Not later than 60 days after enactment, DHS shall begin accepting applications for PPP and EAD.
Rescission of PPP – DHS may not rescind PPP or an EAD under this section unless DHS determines the alien has 1) been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors not arising on out of the same act, omission or scheme; 2) poses a threat to national security or a threat to public safety; 3) has traveled outside the US without authorization from DHS; or 4) has ceased to continuously reside in the US.

Treatment of Brief, Casual, and Innocent Departures and Certain Other Absences.

Aliens aren’t considered to have failed to continuously reside in the US due to brief, casual and innocent absences from the US during the period from 6/15/2007 to 8/14/2012 or travel outside the US on or after 8/12/2012 if such travel was authorized by DHS.
Treatment of Expunged Convictions- Expunged convictions shall not automatically be treated as a disqualifying felony, significant misdemeanor, or misdemeanor but shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis according to the nature and severity of the offense.

Effect of Deferred Action Under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.
PPP – A DACA recipient is deemed to have PPP under this section through the expiration date of the alien’s deferred action status, as specified by DHS in conjunction with the approval of the alien’s DACA application.
Employment Authorization – If a DACA recipient has been granted an EAD in addition to deferred action, the EAD shall continue through the expiration of the alien’s deferred action status, as specified by DHS in conjunction with the approval of the alien’s DACA application.
Effect of Application – If a DACA recipient files a PPP application not later than the expiration date of the alien’s deferred action status, the alien’s PPP an EAD shall remain in effect pending adjudication of the application.
TITLE V – REFORMING AMERICAN IMMIGRATION FOR A STRONG ECONOMY ACT

[NOTE – This is a partial adaptation of the RAISE Act endorsed earlier this year by President Trump. The point system and elimination of the DV lottery are not in this version].
Section 5001. Short Title – The bill is to be referred to as the ‘‘Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act’’ or the ‘‘RAISE Act’’.
Section 5002. FAMILY-SPONSORED IMMIGRATION PRIORITIES.

Changes the definition of a “child” for immediate relative sponsorship to 18 from 21. This means US citizens sponsoring children no longer get the benefit of quota free sponsorship if a child turns 18.

Parents are no longer considered immediate relatives for family immigration purposes.

The worldwide family quota is cut from 480,000 to 88,000 minus the number of people paroled in to the US under 212(d)(5) who have not departed the US within 365 days and have not received a green card within two years of getting parole status. This presumably will eat up all of the 88,000 numbers meaning only immediate relatives (spouses and children under 18 of US citizens) will be able to immigrate (though I am not sure the number of parolees is available to determine the likely impact of this provision).

The system will work somewhat differently than now. Currently, the 480,000 is the starting number for the four preference categories for family cases. Immediate relative numbers are subtracted from the 480,000 and then the remaining numbers are divided according the allotments in each preference category. Under the proposed system, there will be 88,000 with parolee numbers subtracted, but not immediate relatives. My educated guess is this will still represent the virtual elimination of all the categories except immediate relatives and immediate relative numbers will be dramatically reduced as well because of the changed definition of who can qualify.

All other family immigration categories except spouses and minor children of permanent residents are eliminated. That includes F-1 adult single children of US citizens, F-2 adult children of permanent residents, F-3 adult married children of US citizens and F-4 siblings of US citizens.

To the extent any family green card numbers are left, 75% of the numbers are not subject to per country limits.

Parents of US citizens will be eligible for a “W” non-immigrant visa for up to five years with the possibility of extending if the citizen child continues to reside in the US. Parents will not be eligible to be employed or eligible for any public benefits. The child must prove he or she has arranged for the parent to get health insurance at no cost to the parent.

The provisions of this section will take effect on the first day of the fiscal year that begins after the legislation is enacted.

Pending applications in eliminated categories are voided except for ones for people scheduled to get green cared within one year and entry to the US must happen within a year of the bill’s enactment.
TITLE VI – OTHER MATTERS

 

Section 6001. Other Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments. Technical conforming fixes.

 

Section 6002. Exemption from the Administrative Procedure Act.
Section 552 of the Freedom of Information Act and Section 552a of the Privacy Act shall not apply to any action to implement this bill.
Section 6003. Exemption from the Paperwork Reduction Act. The PRA shall not apply to the implementation of this Act.
Section 6004. Ability to Fill and Retain Department of Homeland Security Positions in United States Territories.
Section 6005. Severability.
Section 6006. Funding.
TITLE VII – TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS
Section 7001. References to the Immigration and Nationality At.
Section 7002. Technical Amendments to Title I of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Section 7003. Technical Amendments to Title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Section 7004. Technical Amendments to Title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Section 7005. Technical Amendments to Title IV of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Section 7006. Technical Amendments to Title V of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Section 7007. Other Amendments.
Section 7008. Repeals; Rule of Construction. Section 7009. Miscellaneous Technical Correction.

***

DHS Releases End of Year Immigration Enforcement Data for 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its end of year immigration enforcement data. The department stated that in the Fiscal Year 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 310,531 individuals nationwide and identified 303,916 of those apprehensions as having occurred along the Southwest border. Data released by CBP represented the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration recorded, a figure which represents apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at the U.S. ports of entry. There were 216,370 inadmissible cases by CBP, which is a 23.7 percent decrease in such cases from the previous year.

DHS also stated that in FY 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 143,470 individuals and removed 226,119. ERO arrested 110,568 individuals, which is a 40 percent increase from the 77,806 total of a year ago. Removals that occurred as the result of an ICE arrest saw a 37 percent increase. After priority being placed on ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) focusing on MS-13, a notoriously dangerous gang, HIS recorded an 83 percent increase in arrests of the gang’s members and associates, totaling 796 for FY 2017. HIS made also 4,818 gang activity related criminal arrests and 892 administrative arrests resulting from gang investigations. In totality, HIS made 32,958 criminal arrests, seizing $524 million in illicit currency and assets.

For more information, view the DHS press release.

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