Trump expands crackdown on undocumented immigrants

CHICAGO (WLS) -- President Donald Trump is expanding his crackdown on undocumented immigrants and the Department of Homeland Security is increasing the number of people targeted for deportation.

What is known about the crackdown is in the reading of a Department of Homeland Security memo, which orders the deportation of criminal "aliens" and appears to greatly expand the kinds of crimes to be considered.

"We have an obligation to know that the people who are in our country are here legally," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

The White House spokesman confirmed the executive order that is outlines in a six-page memo authored by the Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. It directs immigration and customs enforcement to hire 10,000 additional agents who will prioritize the deportation of undocumented people who have violated U.S. law.

"The president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say, you have a mission, there are laws that need to be followed. You should do your mission and follow the law," Spicer said.

But the memo suggests the potential targets will include more than those charged or convicted of felonies. They will include those who have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with an official matter before a governmental agency such as using a phony Social Security number, those who have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits and those who in the judgement or discretion of an immigration officer otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

"Those people who are in this country and pose a threat to our public safety or have committed a crime will be the first to go and we will be aggressively making sure that that occurs," Spicer said.

The memo said the only exception will be those 750,000 or so young people brought to the U.S. as children who registered under the Obama administration's Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Their renewable two year permits will allow them to remain in the country legally.

Students said the effects of these changes in deportation policy are apparent among some of the country's younger undocumented immigrants is apparent on social media.

"I feel like there was a lot of panic going around," said Yuliana Rodriguez, student at Hubbard High School.

Yuliana and Alexandra Zanabria sit in the same classrooms at Hubbard High, both kids who wonder if they'll be deported.

"For him it's scary because he doesn't know what's going to happen or what's coming for him in the future" Alexandra said.

Chicago Public Schools released additional guidance to principals Tuesday, which said in part, "To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE) in the enforcement of federal immigration law. Therefore, ICE should not be permitted access to CPS facilities or personnel except in the rare instance in which we are provided with a criminal warrant."

"I feel that's good because they shouldn't be coming in just like that," Alexandra said.

"I feel like school should be a safe place, just like home. We go there to learn. I feel like it shouldn't be a scary place to go to," Yuliana said.

In addition to CPS, school districts in suburban Aurora and South Elgin said they also would maintain their policy of not allowing ICE agents into schools without a criminal warrant. ABC 7 Eyewitness News reached out to ICE to see if finding undocumented students in schools is something they would even consider and did not hear back.

This week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign a revised executive order affecting travel between the U.S. and seven Muslim-majority countries.

City Hall estimates in Chicago alone there are an estimated 500,000 undocumented immigrants, between 15 and 20 percent of the city's population who could all be affected by the crackdown.
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