The Department of Justice on Friday issued a guidance to federal immigration officials on how to respond to border security breaches, the latest in a series of new federal directives aimed at preventing illegal border crossings and protecting against the spread of the Zika virus.
The guidance comes after several high-profile cases of Zika, including in Miami, Ohio, which was the first US city to report cases in the state’s population of roughly 13.5 million, the most in the nation, and Colorado, which saw a record 4,724 cases.
It also comes just days after the Trump administration announced plans to make it easier for parents to deport their children to other countries and said that it is looking into whether to move to a “three strikes” policy for parents caught breaking immigration laws.
The announcement from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration enforcement, comes after an executive order from President Donald Trump that called for a crackdown on “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.
The Trump administration also announced plans Friday to allow local governments to opt out of federal law enforcement requests for public health and safety information on people they suspect of being in the country illegally.
In response to the latest developments, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would ask Congress to block any new executive orders from Trump, including the guidance issued by the Justice Department.
“The White House must stop using the courts as a tool to advance a false narrative about our immigration system,” Ryan said in a statement.
“It is time for President Trump to follow the example set by his predecessors and protect Americans from the devastating consequences of this virus.”
Ryan and the House Homeland Security Committee are holding a hearing on immigration enforcement next week.