WASHINGTON -  The Department of Homeland Security issued tough new orders Tuesday to begin a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants, putting nearly all of the country's 11 million undocumented foreigners in their cross-hairs.

Two memos issued by DHS Secretary John Kelly order border patrol and immigration officers to deport as quickly as possible any illegal immigrants they find, with only a few exceptions, principally children.

The priority for deportation will remain undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes, but will also include anyone who has been charged or potentially faces criminal charges.

However, categories of illegal immigrants deemed as low priority by the previous Barack Obama administration - generally anyone not tied to a crime - are no longer protected.

"With extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement," the department said.

"All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States."

Kelly ordered immediate action to begin planning and building a wall along the US southern border with Mexico.

He also ordered the hiring of another 5,000 officers for the Customs and Border Protection agency and 10,000 for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The orders effectively launch into action President Donald Trump's promise to begin deporting millions of immigrants, mainly from Mexico and Central America, who had been tolerated during the Obama administration as law-abiding, longtime residents.

According to media report, US President Donald Trump's revised immigration order will reportedly include the same countries targeted in the initial order, which barred refugees and people from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the US.

The president's new order, expected to be released this week, will not include people who already have a visa to travel to the US It will also exempt people who hold green cards and who are dual citizens of the US and one of the targeted countries.

The new order will no longer tell authorities to specifically single out and reject Syrian refugees, according to the State Department memo which The Wall Street Journal said it had reviewed.

Asked about the memo, a senior administration official told WSJ the new order isn’t yet complete. “It’s still being worked on."

The State Department refused to comment on the draft, the paper said.

The Justice Department told an appeals court Thursday that the president would rescind the current executive order and replace it. The first order prompted more than 20 lawsuits, with challengers arguing that the order violated individual rights and wasn’t justified by a new national-security threat. A court ruling this month from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco stayed several key provisions of the original order.

A State Department official said the new order would likely jettison the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees entering the US. But two White House officials said that ban wouldn’t be dropped, according ti WSJ.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Saturday that the administration is planning a new version of the executive order that would be phased in to allow people already in transit to enter the US.

“The president is contemplating issuing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first EO.,” Kelly said during a visit to Munich. “I will have, this time, the opportunity … to work the rollout plan in particular to make sure that there’s no one in a sense caught in the system moving from overseas to our airports, which happened in the first release.”

Kelly said “it is a good assumption” that green-card holders would be allowed into the US. He said there would be a “short phase-in period.” Anti-Trump protesters demonstrate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania against the recent immigration orders.

The State Department memo makes clear the White House is seeking a careful and deliberate rollout of the new executive order, with government lawyers requesting its implementation seven to 14 days after Trump signs the document. The lag period is designed for government lawyers to deal with any legal challenges to the new order before it is implemented, the memo explains.

The immediate implementation of Trump’s January 27 executive order on immigration and refugees created chaos across global airports, sparking protests across the US. Refugees en route to the US when Mr. Trump signed the order were turned back once they landed at American airports.

According to the memo, the draft retains the provision from the previous order that temporarily bans travel to the US by citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

The original order suspended the entire US refugee programme for four months and indefinitely banned Syrian refugees. The administration argued at the time that the original provisions were needed to keep possible terrorists from entering the US posing as refugees.

A State Department official said the ban on Syrian refugees could be scrapped in the new order, but it would keep in place a lowered admission ceiling of 50,000 refugees for 2017 enshrined in the previous order.

Some 35,000 refugees have been admitted for the government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ends in October, leaving only 15,000 admission slots left globally for the next 7½ months.

The memo says a slowdown is needed for refugee admissions for the rest of 2017 to accommodate the lower ceiling, admitting 400 refugees a week from 1,900 a week under the previous administration. Trump more than halved the 110,000 refugee admission ceiling set by the administration of President Barack Obama for fiscal year 2017.

The current draft gives the secretary of state broad authority to waive individual cases and allow, in certain instances, citizens from the seven banned countries to enter the US, but the secretary must agree with the Department of Homeland Security before specific cases are waived.

The memo said the Department of Homeland Security is unwilling to put into writing categories of visa seekers that could be exempt from the new order, such as students seeking entry via US government-funded exchange programmes.

Legally, one of the primary critiques of the order is that it amounts to religious discrimination. The new version appears to address that by eliminating the preferences for religious minorities that was included in the original order.

Further, in its ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was critical of the administration’s mixed messages as to whether legal permanent residents, also called green-card holders, were affected. The new version appears to address that by making clear that they aren’t included.

The appellate court also criticized the order for lacking due process for those affected. Giving notice before it take effect could address that, at least in part.

The new approach described in the memo also appears to try to address the administration’s political problems around the order. Many Republicans who otherwise support the idea were highly critical of the chaotic way the order was rolled out. Democrats and others were critical of the process and the substance.