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DHS is preparing to release sweeping immigration overhaul

Trump's immigration guidelines
Trump's immigration guidelines 02:16

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to release new sweeping immigration guidelines, CBS News reports.

A source with knowledge of DHS planning said the documents are being finalized by the White House and could be released as early as Monday. It was originally scheduled to be released late last week.

One provision would direct the immediate return of Mexican immigrants who are apprehended along the border back home, pending the outcomes of their deportation hearings. The new procedures would allow for authorities to seek expedited deportation hearings.

The memos do not overturn the Obama 2012 immigration action that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has deferred deportations for people who came to the U.S. illegally as children and has provided work permits to more than 750,000 immigrants.

The plan also attempts to deter the arrival of unaccompanied children who have come over the border to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America over the last three years. Under the new policies, their parents could be prosecuted if they are found to have paid smugglers to bring the children across the border.

Despite a report from the Associated Press about a draft DHS document Friday, the memos do not include measures to activate National Guard troops to round up immigrants in 11 states.

The memos instruct the heads of certain agencies to begin hiring 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 5,000 more agents for Border Patrol.

A senior DHS source told CBS News’ Major Garrett that there are no new laws here -- immigration enforcement has always been a matter of emphasis and priority, and these memos create new priorities under existing law.  The memos would place a higher emphasis on deportations of undocumented immigrants picked up in the course of ‎other law enforcement actions.

One example, the source said, would be deporting undocumented immigrants caught in a larger bust that targeted a known gang member or leader. Whereas the Obama administration emphasized targeting the worst undocumented offenders, this would allow and encourage ICE to seek deportation of those identified in a raid or arrest operation of this kind. The source said there is a concern that lower-level crimes were being overlooked under the previous policy, and all crimes -- under the broken window theory of policing -- need to be part of the ICE mandate.

The source also said the effort to restrict unaccompanied minors at the border is driven by rising concern over gang activity (MS-13 in Northern Virginia is one example). Unaccompanied minors arrive in the U.S. and with some frequency are pulled into gangs because they have no family connections or community linkages, the source said. 

President Trump announced last week that he would issue a new executive action this week to protect the country. He reportedly will issue a revised travel ban.  

CBS News’ Major Garrett contributed to this report. 

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