The American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) has published reports suggesting that the Republican House is likely to seek increased resources for border and interior enforcement and greater scrutiny of the Obama administration’s enforcement policies and procedures.
A host of legal issues could arise from any new proposals, some of which are expected to be aimed at the following objectives.
Criminalization of Border Crossings:
- Making unlawful presence a federal crime
- Stiffening penalties for illegal entry and re-entry
- Instituting a zero-tolerance border enforcement program
Reshaping Judicial Process:
- Reducing the circuit court review process for removal orders by creating a single-judge certification
- Shifting the burden of proof for establishing whether a conviction constitutes an aggravated felony as grounds for deportation
Ramping Up Enforcement:
- Increasing funding for additional personnel, equipment, and technology at the border
- Increasing funding for detention and removal
- Creating a presumption of legitimate need for detention of individuals arrested by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) or its agencies
AILA also reportedly anticipates that there will be a push to grant local law enforcement authorities the ability to take action against and/or report certain immigration offenders.
The new House members could also attempt to garner expanded Congressional oversight powers, forcing DHS officials to testify about and defend their immigration enforcement practices.
If you are an individual needing assistance with a legal issue regarding immigration on behalf of yourself or a family member, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712, and feel free to check out the pertinent portion of our Website for more information.