Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly issued new guidance on Tuesday outlining how his department will enforce President Donald Trump's executive order to crack down on immigration.
The goal is not "mass deportation" White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, but to eliminate exceptions that President Barack Obama's administration allowed to keep undocumented immigrants who weren't a threat from being deported.
"Remember, everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time," Spicer said at the press briefing on Tuesday. "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.'"
How does Trump's new immigration policy — and Kelly's implementation of it — compare with Obama's? We broke it down.
How many unauthorized immigrants are in the US?
Official data from the Department of Homeland Security estimates that just over 11 million unauthorized immigrants live in the US, making up about 3% of the population.
How many did Obama deport?
During Obama's eight years in office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported over 3.1 million unauthorized immigrants. Most unauthorized immigrants who were apprehended inside of the country, not at the border, were convicted criminals, according to DHS.
In 2016, ICE officials removed 240,255 people, 58% of whom had criminal histories. Of the 65,332 people apprehended inside the country, 92% had been convicted of a crime, according to DHS statistics.
What's the same?
Trump left intact Obama's 2012 executive order on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The action allowed immigrants under 31 who came to the US as children to apply for a deferred action, meaning the government won't deport them for two years and grants them the ability to legally work in the country. Applicants can reapply for DACA if they still meet the criteria. Citizenship and Immigration Services determines on a case-by-case basis if they can stay.
Obama tried to expand deferred action in 2014 to include the parents of green-card holders or of children who were granted DACA privileges, but the courts struck down that order, and the Supreme Court left in place that ruling in a 4-4 vote.
Protecting sensitive locations
The DHS policy preventing enforcement activities at "sensitive locations" remains in effect. These include schools, places of worship, hospitals, and public demonstrations like rallies. The policy is meant to allow unauthorized immigrants to go to these locations "without fear" of being apprehended and deported.
The Obama administration prioritized enforcement for convicted criminals, those who posed a danger to national security, and gang members. That won't change under Trump's order.
"All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States," says a DHS Q&A about the order's implementation. "The guidance makes clear, however, that ICE should prioritize several categories of removable aliens who have committed crime, beginning with those convicted of a criminal offense."