Mexican ambassador: DHS memos are a 'serious issue'

Mexican ambassador: DHS memos are a 'serious issue'
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The newly appointed Mexican ambassador to the United States is concerned about Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memos on immigration and what they mean for Mexican citizens in the United States, Reforma newspaper reports.

Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez told senators the memos are "a serious issue."

DHS Secretary John Kelly made official two memos on Tuesday that outline the implementation and enforcement methods his agencies will follow to enact President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE's executive orders on immigration.

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Under the new regulations, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have greater leeway in deciding which immigrants to persecute for deportation, as definitions of criminality for aliens were expanded by Trump's executive order.

Kelly will visit Mexico City on Thursday, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but it was not clear to what extent immigration — technically a domestic issue — will be openly discussed.

"It's good that [the memos] were revealed today because the secretary of Homeland Security will arrive with the secretary of State Thursday and it is simply a much more direct and honorable position to let these positions be known beforehand," Gutierrez told senators.

Orders specific to Mexico in the memos will likely be discussed.

The memos provide for citizens of other countries apprehended crossing the southern border to be returned to Mexico while their cases are processed.

Mexican authorities are likely to fight that provision, demanding any removals be made to the deportees' home countries, as had been done until now.

The implementation memo directs the DHS undersecretary for management to identify and report to Kelly all sources of direct and indirect U.S. aid to Mexico. The memo doesn't explicitly say what Kelly will do with this information.

The provision is likely to raise eyebrows in Mexico, with locals wary of any move by the U.S. government that could be interpreted as a bill for construction of a border wall, a main pillar of Trump's presidential campaign.