Posted on August 19, 2011

Obama to Deport Illegals by ‘Priority’

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, August 18, 2011

Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members’ care.

The move marks a major step for President Obama, who for months has said he does not have broad categorical authority to halt deportations and said he must follow the laws as Congress has written them.

But in letters to Congress on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she does have discretion to focus on “priorities” and that her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases to see who meets the new criteria.

“This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety,” she said. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high-priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.”


The new rules apply to those who have been apprehended and are in deportation proceedings, but have not been officially ordered out of the country by a judge.

Ms. Napolitano said a working group will try to come up with “guidance on how to provide for appropriate discretionary consideration” for “compelling cases” in instances where someone already has been ordered deported.


The top House Republican on the Judiciary Committee said the move is part of a White House plan “to grant backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants.”

“The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “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.”


Lilian Kim, ABC 7, August 18, 2011

The Obama administration announced a major change in policy for thousands of illegal immigrants going through deportation proceedings. They now may be able to stay in the country.

There are currently 300,000 deportation cases making their way through the federal immigration courts, but under the new policy immigrants classified as low-priority cases could be granted a stay and a chance to apply for a work permit.


{snip} Under the new policy announced on Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security will suspend deportation proceedings on young, undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to public safety or national security. The indefinite stay will not give illegal immigrants a path to legal permanent residency, but will let them apply for a work permit.


“This is probably the most anti-American policy that the Obama administration has set to date,” said Rick Oltman from the Tea Party Immigration Coalition.

He predicts the new policy will bring in a flood of new illegal immigrants into the country.

“This sends a green light to everybody on this planet that if they can get to the United States and not be convicted of a crime, they get to stay,” said Oltman.


Despite the skepticism, this policy change should help President Obama’s standing with Latino voters as he heads into the 2012 election.