Donald Trump plan could hit 3 lakh illegal Indian-Americans

Indian-Americans as per unofficial figures account for nearly 300,000 illegal aliens.

Washington: Nearly 300,000 Indian-Americans are likely to be impacted by the Trump administration’s sweeping plans that put the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation.

Under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday, any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to homeland security department memos signed by secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses, including traffic violations.

The memos drastically broaden earlier narrower guidance focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.

“The department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” the department of homeland security (DHS) said in an enforcement memo.

“Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws,” it said.

The emphasis is on criminal aliens, but opens up the door for others too. The only exemptions listed are unaccompanied minor, those who fear persecution or torture in their home country, or have lawful immigration status. Indian-Americans as per unofficial figures account for nearly 300,000 illegal aliens.

The memos said when illegal aliens apprehended do not pose a risk of a subsequent illegal entry, returning them to the country from which they arrived, pending the outcome of removal proceedings, saves the government detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens.

The Democrats were quick to oppose what they called a “heavy-handed, anti-family” policy. Beth Werlin, executive director of American Immigration Council, said the memos indicate that many people in the interior of the country — not just those at the border — could be subject to expedited deportation without going before a judge, details of which DHS said will be released soon.

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