Report: Trump eyeing policy to accelerate deportations of teen immigrants

Report: Trump eyeing policy to accelerate deportations of teen immigrants
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The Trump administration is considering a new policy that would expedite the deportation of thousands of Central American teenagers who arrived at the U.S. southern border unaccompanied by adults, according to a McClatchy DC report.

Under that proposal, teenagers who arrived at the border alone after fleeing El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala would be deported when they turn 18. 

The fast-track process would allow them to be deported without first going before an immigration judge, according to McClatchy.

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More than 100,000 minors have fled to the U.S. from Central America to escape violence and poverty in Central America. In 2014 alone, nearly 70,000 unaccompanied minors arrived at the U.S. southern border.

Most of those minors, according to McClatchy, were between the ages of 15 and 17 when they traveled to the U.S. Many of those teenagers have already or will soon turn 18, meaning they would be affected by the policy reportedly under consideration.

The Trump administration is in the process of phasing out the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which temporarily shields certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children from deportation.

Now, the Justice Department is looking to avoid creating a new protected status for another group of immigrants in the vein of DACA, McClatchy reported.

The proposal is reportedly being drafted through memos between the Homeland Security and Justice Departments.

Under a 2008 measure, minors from Canada and Mexico who arrive at the U.S. border are promptly deported and sent back to their country of origin. But a similar policy is not in place for dealing with minors from Central America.

The Central American children who arrive unaccompanied at the U.S. southern border are instead placed in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department in the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Most of those minors are either placed with relatives in the U.S., with sponsors or in shelters, according to McClatchy.

The Homeland Security Department declined to comment to The Hill and said it was "trying to verify that there is such a proposal."