Archive for Friday, August 19, 2011

U.S. undertaking review of deportation

August 19, 2011


— The Obama administration said Thursday it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.

That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.

Advocates for an immigration overhaul have said that the administration, by placing all illegal immigrants in the same category for deportation, has failed to live up to its promise to only deport the “worst of the worst,” as President Barack Obama has said.

“From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities,” Napolitano wrote a group of senators supporting new immigration legislation. “Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission — clogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from the individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

Republicans complained that the new policy circumvents Congress.

“They have created a working group that appears to have the specific purpose of overruling, on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, an immigration court’s final order of removal, or preventing that court from even issuing such an order,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a statement. “The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them. The Obama administration should not pick and choose which laws to enforce. Administration officials should remember the oath of office they took to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.”

Some states are rebelling against another administration effort to control illegal immigration known as Secure Communities. The program requires that when state and local law enforcement send criminal suspects’ fingerprints to the FBI, the prints are run through an immigration database to determine the person’s immigration status. States have argued that the program puts them in the position of policing immigration, which they consider a federal responsibility. Immigrant advocacy groups have complained that people who had not yet been convicted of a crime were being caught up in the system.

In June, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, sent a memo to agents outlining when and how they could use discretion in immigration cases.


jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Shouldn't deporting the criminals have been the goal from the very start? And I'm just freakin' plain ol' tired of hearing whatever Republicans have to say about ANYTHING the President does, 'cuz it's always contrary. From my perspective, if your position is ALWAYS contrary then you have no credibility. Period. I reckon it was probably the same when W was in office, but don't these morons realize that they aren't governing when it's party policy to denigrate any statement or move the opposition makes? Reminds me of The Rainmaker, where every single insurance claim is initially denied, no matter what. Makes my blood boil.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice do not have sufficient staff to handle all cases of illegal immigrants simultaneously. (The current staff is already working overtime.) It makes sense to prioritize the cases of those individuals who constitute an immediate danger to the US population, such as criminals and terrorists, rather than, say, children or farm laborers. In relation to immigration control, we can have smaller government and more (and more dangerous) illegals, or larger government and fewer illegals. Take your pick, Tea Partiers!

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

I note you didn't answer the question.

Are you willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund the departments adequately, so that they can in fact deport everybody?

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

" It makes sense to prioritize the cases of those individuals who constitute an immediate danger to the US population,"

No doubt about it. My problem is that the President promised to address illegal immigration during his campaign and hasn't done jack 'til now. And getting rid of the criminal element should have been Priority 1 from day one.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

jaywalker, According to sources within the Department of Homeland Security, in fact the Obama administration has been prioritizing cases this way from day one, just as you say. They just didn't say so--maybe because they anticipated how the radical right would spin it.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Well that's good to hear. But I don't see how the 'radical right' spinning anything about this as reason to keep a lid on it.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Because they'd use it to criticize Obama for not deporting all the illegal immigrants.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

It's a good response to jaywalker's question.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Winston_Smith, Daffy, I'm not advocating that immigration laws not be enforced at all, and neither is the Obama administration. I think that you really understand that point, but just choose to misconstrue it in order to express hostility towards President Obama and towards immigrants. It's a situation analogous to the enforcement of traffic laws. Technically, anybody who drives even one mile per hour over the speed limit is breaking the law. Technically, anybody who drives without a seatbelt is breaking the law. Should we demand that the police arrest every single one of those drivers? Should we prosecute every single one of them to the fullest extent of the law? If our citizenry wanted to devote a whole lot more resources to the police, the courts, and the jails, this could be done. If our citizenry was willing to put up with the constant police surveillance and the constant traffic tie-ups that would necessarily result from police stops, we could implement the existing laws to their fullest. But I for one think that it would be a waste of resources and it would be unnecessarily intrusive. I'm happy for the police to prioritize arresting drivers who flagrantly speed, drive unsafely, etc., and I'd rather keep more money in the pockets of the taxpayers instead of paying to enforce existing laws to the letter.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

Citizenship is the ultimate entitlement for people who didn't do jack to earn it in the first place.

It's all about your parents.

So. . . . where's all the anti-entitlement folk?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

Not enough jobs for the people who live here now, and they want to bring in more workers?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

The process is called Hispandering and the current occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave. is willing to do anything to get another term.

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with the implications of Daffy's and AppologiesMyLiege's invocation of "white man's laws" in reference to the laws of the United States of America? Our laws are "of the people, by the people, and for the people" (to coopt Abraham Lincoln's phrase) all of the American people, not just white Americans.
Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with the implications of snap_pop_no_crackle's "Hispandering" comment? Citizens of all races and ethnicities seek a rational and pragmatic approach to our country's illegal immigration problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

It's a bit ironic, too, considering that white men in the US have a history of making laws that codify and legalize theft of property, genocide and slavery against those who aren't white (or men.)

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Any of that in the last 50 years? Great, so can we move on now?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.