Suzy Khimm–Mon Jun. 27, 2011 3:00 AM PDT
Has President Barack Obama found a way to enact the principles of the DREAM Act—the bill that would prevent the deportation of young undocumented immigrants who are students or military veterans—without passing the measure itself? Unable to move this legislation through the Republican-controlled Congress, the Obama administration has used its executive authority to shape immigration policy in line with the DREAM Act. This month, in a little-noticed move, Obama’s immigration chief advised Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to use discretion when considering whether to deport certain undocumented immigrants who are particularly vulnerable or have strong community ties to the country. That is, go easy on the sort of undocumented immigrants that the DREAM Act could benefit, among others.
Since taking office, Obama has prioritized the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes and threaten public safety. Now his administration has moved to ensure that federal immigration agents and attorneys are following such guidelines in the field—while empowering them to take their focus off certain undocumented immigrants who meet a host of criteria. In a June 17 memo to ICE employees, the agency’s director, John Morton, outlined 19 factors that could warrant the use of “prosecutorial discretion” and prevent certain immigrants from being deported, on a case-by-case basis. (more…)
Filed under: immigrant community, Law, Law Enforcement | Tagged: American Immigration Lawyers Association, Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, David Leopold, Doris Meissner, Dream Act, Gillian Christensen, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration and Naturaliza, Immigration Policy Center, John Morton, Kris Kobach, Marshall Fitz, Mary Giovagnoli | Leave a Comment »