The Obama administration has been at odds with the Republican House over immigration law reform regarding easing citizenship requirements for the millions of undocumented aliens in the US who are enrolled in our schools and universities, receiving public benefits, working in various industries and paying taxes, though many are living and working here under the radar.
Despite the sparring over controversial reforms and the allegations regarding rewarding law breakers with a path to coveted US citizenship, however, the Obama administration has reportedly been engaged in deporting more illegal aliens than any other recent past administration. Most of those deported, however, are for unlawful reentry, a federal offense for those who have tried to enter the US illegally at least one other time or who have been previously deported.
Though the Obama administration is ostensibly living up to its promise to deport aliens who commit crimes, it is misleading since few of those deported are for non-immigration related offenses. Also, the mass deportations for illegal reentry seems contrary to the President’s desire to help the undocumented become US citizens. Further, about 92% of those charged with illegal reentry are Latino and 97% of those receive prison sentences as compared to 86% for non-Hispanics. Latinos are considered a group that usually votes Democratic in national and state elections.
A Change in Deportation Priorities
From either pressure from Latino advocacy groups or new efforts to adhere to President Obama’s call for “more humane enforcement” in deportation matters, or both, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking into altering its deportation policy to ease the deportation of foreigners who have no criminal convictions. In 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order to cease deporting children who had illegally entered the US.
Another change is the use of the Secure Communities process, a method that shifts the priorities of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to concentrate its resources on removing aliens who pose a threat to public safety as well as those guilty of multiple immigration violations.
Under this approach, persons arrested for a criminal violation will have their fingerprints submitted to the FBI which then sends them to the DHS for the ICE to determine if the person is subject to deportation. This process does not change current law but clarifies a 2008 federal law mandating the ICE to identify those foreigners for deportation.
If the ICE issues a detainer for that person, local law enforcement will hold him or her for up to 48 hours for an ICE interview to determine if removal or deportation is appropriate.
Under this approach, the ICE will consider the following factors:
- Criminal history
- Previous deportations
- If the individual is subject to an outstanding order for removal
- How long the person has been in the US
- Family ties
- Medical issues
If the person does have a criminal history but it is minor or nonviolent, or has a history of previous reentry attempts, the ICE can still offer the person the option of lawful entry at a future time.
The purpose of this approach is to minimize involvement of the criminal justice system and to allow certain individuals an opportunity to cease repeated immigration violations and to be lawfully admitted and possibly rewarded with a path to eventual US citizenship. For those deported, they are guilty of breaking immigration law.
Retain Goldstein Immigration Lawyers.
Immigration law is a maze of regulations and constantly changing laws and priorities. If you or a loved one is facing deportation or has issues regarding immigration law, an immigration lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge of the process is essential. The Boston immigration lawyers at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers take pride in their success in assisting undocumented aliens, students, investors, skilled workers and others who seek lawful entry, citizenship or who face deportation