Adam Polaski

New Immigration Policy to Limit Non-Criminal Deportations

Filed By Adam Polaski | August 19, 2011 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, binational same-sex couples, Department of Homeland Security, DREAM Act, DREAMers, Harry Reid, immigration, Janet Napolitano, president Obama, Senate Majority Leader

JanetNapolitanoDHS.jpgOn Thursday, the Obama administration revealed plans for an updated immigration policy that looks to limit the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States from facing deportation.

The new policy may have broad, positive consequences for young immigrants who entered the country as minors and for bi-national same-sex couples, who face the risk of being separated due to unnecessarily strict deportation procedures.

The news comes from the Department of Homeland Security - the DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, submitted a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explaining the planned changes.

Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner has more:

A senior administration official says the changes are aimed at moving prosecutorial discretion exercised by immigration enforcement officials from an "ad hoc" system to a system focused on the "highest priorities" that will "eliminate the lowest priority cases" - including, another senior administration official says, same-sex couples where one partner is facing deportation.

In her letter, Napolitano writes:

"The President has said on numerous occasions that it makes no sense to expend our enforcement resources on low-priority cases, such as individuals like those you reference in your letter, who were brought to this country as young children and know no other home. From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities. Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission - clogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from individuals who pose a threat to public safety."

The focal point of Napolitano's letter was the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act - the DREAM Act - the bill that failed right alongside the passage of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal in December 2010. The bill would grant permanent residency to undocumented students who arrived in the United States as minors and graduated from high school in the country.

Obama has been saying for months that his deportation policies are targeted at undocumented immigrants who have engaged in criminal activity. But that hasn't been the reality of who has been deported. It will be interesting to see if this new administrative attention will work toward a more sensible deportation policy. As recently as May 2011, the Obama administration has been deporting far more non-criminals than it has criminals. Check out this graphic from Campus Progress:


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While any move to equalize the legal treatment of gay and heterosexual families is of course positive, this policy does not seem like a good move. We need to immediately deport all illegal aliens without exception. Anything that slows the deportation of criminal illegal aliens, regardless of their age or family status, weakens our society. All illegal aliens are criminals, as they have violated immigration law.

I agree with DB on more than one point. Gays and lesbians feel a solidarity with illegal aliens, I'm thinking because of the issue of bi national couples, even married ones, unable to benefit from the federal aspect of legal protections.

The benefits to illegal immigrants who AREN'T gay, is growing exponentially. And the complaints when confronted with OTHER forms of illegal behavior is as well.
I'm talking illegal behavior that is for EVERYONE.

Such as identity fraud, document fraud, voting fraud, displacement of legal citizens for social services, for college entrance, for other forms of publicly funded or other access limited to those of legal residence or citizenship.
As someone who has been a civil rights advocate for most of my life, support of illegal aliens is the wrong path to take.
The reason being: this is the difference between someone who is adhering to the legal and law abiding standards set for everyone and not benefiting or being punished or discriminated against for doing so

And abusing or defying those standards that are demoralizing and unfair to those who ARE abiding by those standards.
Illegal immigrants, by definition are acting unethically. And blanketing the entire with the generalization of 'wanting a better life', is assuming model intents and behaviors on a group in which such a thing isn't determined, let alone each individual accurately identified.
And when criminals use illegal status to exploit or commit crimes on said group: they are looking for legal and ethical responses to their own illegal and unethical behavior.
These laws are not in place to be unfair or create a criminal class.

Those laws are in place so that such a criminal element cannot enter, and so that each person's identity and background is accounted for and that our nation can ACCOMMODATE them efficiently.
We DO have limited resources, limited college places, as well as limits on room for adjudication and incarceration and other factors.
Treating this situation as if it's not a problem, or that illegal immigrants deserve accommodation the same or commiserate with those who DID legally process is demoralizing and wrong.

We are the destination of preference for many immigrants. And we cannot accommodate all who want to be here. And considering we are engaged in a war with a stealthy, civilian terrorist threat, to allow millions of people to be here without that accountability is insanity, let alone TREASON.

You'll never make it right, that thousands and thousands of people have cheated the system of immigration, and demand to be rewarded for it. It's a disgrace that illegal immigrant parents are teaching their children how to cheat and CUT THE LINE in front of those who have acted legally.

It's a further disgrace that illegal immigrant parents are using their children to blackmail and force this country to accommodate their children at the expense of others and displacing those who have waited patiently for their turn.
Gay people, wherever they are from, have a different avenue of freedom and rights.
Dr. King said that "the means has to be as pure as the ends."
I'm all for immigrants, and love the diversity of cultures and languages and interests that immigrants offer.
I don't have to accept cheating the system of laws to get here, and then crying foul no when expected to be accountable for doing wrong, and for who it harms.
And yes, unaccounted for illegal immigration and illegal immigrants DOES cause harm.
Serious harm and I'm done with people acting as if it doesn't.
I work in law enforcement too, and I know exactly of what I speak and who is abused and who is doing the abusing.

Considering that gay people already have a bad rap as being incapable of disseminating moral questions, support of illegal immigrants is going to get you in trouble in that regard.
It really will.
I will discuss the aspects of ethics and ethical responses in this regard civilly. I won't tolerate someone launching an attack on me for what I said.
I've been at this a very long time. I know how to be an advocate for civil rights, and I know what it takes to fight for them and the definition of those rights.
As I said, I know when someone is abusing a situation. Illegal immigrants are not being abused by our system of laws, they are being held accountable to them.
Understand that.

I know that gay immigrants are risking becoming illegal and so on, even if they are married to an American. They ARE already being treated unfairly by the lack of federal protections equal to op sex couples.
I know that.
I said as much.

But that's another category entirely, and we need to deal with this by category and not generalizations.