Who does new immigration policy favor?
Supporters of an undocumented immigrant show support during a deportation court hearing in Denver, Colorado in July.
August 19th, 2011
11:10 AM ET

Who does new immigration policy favor?

The Department of Homeland Security is going to begin reviewing all 300,000 pending deportation cases in federal immigration courts to determine which individuals meet specific criteria for removal and to focus on "our highest priorities."

Officials say immigration court dockets are clogged, putting public safety in jeopardy, costing money, resources and time. They want to see DHS enforcement resources diverted from illegal immigrants who don't have criminal records to individuals who pose a threat to public safety and national security.

So what does all this mean for illegal immigrants and what are the "highest priorities?"

In a memo, director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement John Morton lays out what circumstances should be taken into account when it comes to prosecuting immigration cases.

Morton describes some factors that should give cases a lower priority. Those include:

- veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces;
- long-time lawful permanent residents;
- minors and elderly individuals;
- individuals present in the United States since childhood;
- pregnant or nursing women;
- victims of domestic violence; trafficking, or other serious crimes;
- individuals who suffer from a serious mental or physical disability; and
- individuals with serious health conditions.

He also lays out negative factors that could lead officials to focus on certain cases. Those include:

- individuals who pose a clear risk to national security;
- serious felons, repeat offenders, or individuals with a lengthy criminal record of any kind;
- known gang members or other individuals who pose a clear danger to public safety; and
- individuals with an egregious record of immigration violations, including those with a record of illegal re-entry and those who have engaged in immigration fraud.

Morton also includes a general list of factors that lawyers, officers and other officials should consider when evaluating immigration cases. For a more detailed list of these factors read the document here (PDF)

soundoff (425 Responses)
  1. Dave M

    So, anyone can now come to the United States (Legal or Illegal). Then for all the people that helped family come here legally, do they get their money back?? It just motivates other foreigners to try to get here and then be under the blanket of (Im illegal but I havent commited any major crimes...so I can stay) If they do not let everyone in, then they are really only letting mexicans in, as they just have to get across the border.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "do they get their money back??"

      Capitalism (long live!) rewards risk-taking behavior. If you think immigrants have it so easy, nobody is stopping you from becoming one: just burn your papers.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave M

      Hey Ramon,
      I am hispanic, and my wife and step son are legal residents. Which means that they were interviewed by the embasy, I had to file alot of paperwork proving that I could provide for them and they would not cause an issue for welfare. Now if everyone that was coming over here did that there would not be an issue. With all these people coming here illegally, it makes it extremely hard for people in other countries to get here legally. They are afraid they will stay illegally. Now, I understand that you are saying that they are trying to make a better life for themselves and their family. Just do it legally, so other countries in Latin America that are not on the border with the United States can have chance of coming here legally. And not have to wait 5 + years in line for a visa.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "Just do it legally"

      For some people there is no legal way. There are ZERO visas for them. Think about it: if you were a Consular officer in the US Embassy in Mexico City, would you issue a visa to Pedro the fruitpicker or Lupe the chambermaid? They are not given visas because there are too many in the US already.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave M

      Then they should raise the quotas 10X what they are now, however, they would have to pay to have the necessary paperwork completed. Criminal background checks and such. And by the way, my wife and family are from Colombia so they have it harder to getting in Legally, and they do not have the option of just walking across the border.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denny

      Dave M I compliment you and your family for taking the Honest and Legal route to residency. You would make an honrable neighbor to have. As a Military Ret. Veteran I Thank You Sir

      All others do the paperwork and wait in line. We'l call you.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ramon F. Herrera

    To the baggers:

    If that's the case how come, out of 23,765,932 US companies you are unable to find ONE that agrees with your views on immigration?

    If hate is on my side, how come you cannot find ONE single church that agrees with your views on immigration? There's a perfect unanimity among churches (even the one you go to on Sundays).

    If that's the case how come the US Army and US Marine Corps are proud sponsors of NCLR?

    I dare you to call American companies communist.
    I dare you to call all US churches haters.
    I dare you to call the US military traitors.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Marine

      Traitor.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      US Marine: I dare you to call your superiors traitors. They are the ones who are proud sponsors of La Raza, not me!

      August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • wolvenshadow

      I worked at YMCAS when Marines were caught hiding illegals in the barracks there. Yes, Marines hiding foregn nationals on a secured installation.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAck

      Ramon is confused. Pobrecito.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denny

      Aggreed – Ramon's a "Trator"

      Probably 3rd generation anchor baby. Deals cartel drugs in the US during the summer and vacations during winters in 3rd world mexicant passing out bribes.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robbin

      Ramon seems to think companies, churches and the military run this country. Hey Ramon this isnt Mexico.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      Many many US companies oppose illegal alien:

      http://www.facebook.com/supportEverify

      August 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ramon F. Herrera

    The Arizona Capitol Times published a study. Let's say that we somehow managed to round up all the illegals from ONE city in the USA (Phoenix was selected). Since they are afforded due process (their day in court), it would take until the year 2035 (not a typo) to get all their cases through the court system.

    Currently detained folks are being given court dates of June 2014. Meanwhile (since we believe in presumption of innocence) they are given temporary work permits.

    http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2010/05/17/trespassing-law-may-turn-more-illegal-immigrants-into-citizens
    http://tinyurl.com/2cj4k6j

    Immigration court judges are suffering from severe physical and emotional ailments, due to the work overload. (Washington Post).

    August 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raymond F. Harrah

      Yes – Lets not enforce our laws because its too hard. Hey Ramon and how does this amnesty measure disuade future illegals from invading? My guess is you probably dont care to much about that.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "Lets not enforce our laws because its too hard"

      We are not talking hard or expensive. We are talking impossible. Would you demand that ALL speeders or ALL tax evaders are caught (and deported)? The law IS being enforced, with discretionality, with priorities.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raymond F. Harrah

      Enforced? Thats a laugh Ramon. If it were being enforced we wouldnt be overwhelmed with illegals from our southern border. Again I ask – How does another amnesty prevent future waves of illegals? Because you didnt answer the first time I guess its because you really dont care. In fact, Id bet you would enjoy it.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "If it were being enforced we wouldnt be overwhelmed with illegals from our southern border. "

      That has been the case, since 1776. The number has actually decreased, because of increased enforcement and the economy in Mexico being better than in the US. About 50% enter legally in airplanes and ships, their backs as dry as their martinis. They are visa overstayers. How tall a wall are you proposing? (Needs to be 30,000ft, minimum).

      August 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. david massey

    The new agreement means we gave our beloved country away to people that are criminal for even being here, not to mention how crime ridden these people are.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      ...and then you wonder why we Hispanics are going in droves to the Democratic party.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Touch of Irony

      You have a right to be worried. After all, when your ancestors came here illegally they ended up stealing the land from the people who were living here and relocating them onto reservations. History does tend to repeat itself.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "If current Hispanic voting and demographic trends continue (*), as early as 2020 the Republican party will be unable to get enough electoral college votes to win another presidential election EVER"

      – The Wall Street Journal, not quite a liberal rag

      (*) The trends have accelerated, thanks to Arizona and the Tea Party.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Hey Ramon – Sounds like you are happy about the possibility of destablizing the US. Great! Hope you enjoy one party rule.....untill the guns come out.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAck

      Ramon thinks the Democratic party helps minorities. Look at what they've done for the blacks in this country. Pobrecito.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ramon F. Herrera

    To the baggers:

    Most Hispanic babies are born to US citizens. Please describe your plan: Massive castrations? Forced sterilizations (already done in Puerto Rico,Google it)? Should be put some reverse Viagra on the barrios' water?? Do tell!!

    August 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Marine

      All excellent ideas Ramon.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Where have you the proof as to your claim? Where did you get your facts from and are the varifiable? If what you claim is the case then there is no need to repeal deporting illegals for they are all US citizens! Come on stupid your case is illogical!

      August 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sick of it

    What is it about the words "illegal immigrant" that the "illegal immigrants" don't understand? I don't care what country they are from. If they are here illegally, they should be deported and they have no rights in this country. Vote all the politicians out of Washington. They are a disgrace.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      > What is it about the words "illegal immigrant" that the "illegal immigrants" don't understand?

      Easy: The part where it says it has to be forever.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Touch of Irony

      So you want a balanced budget without raising the debt limit but there are somehow unlimited funds to handle this issue? This kind of duplicity is often the result of ideology over principle. The only reason they are illegal is because we say they are. Other than crossing an imaginary line they have done no harm by simply being here. Yet you are ready to spend billions that we cannot afford to satisfy your personal preferences.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Dude its all abut getting votes, and yes they vote even if the are illegal!

      August 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jose

    You know something? Im not impressed with our POTUS one bit. Actually, I have the balls unlike most liberals to admit when I am wrong. I was wrong to vote for this bag of wind. This guy is just a good speaker in an empty suit spewing empty promises to gullible Americans. Too little too late on delaying the deportation trials of my relatives, you lost our vote when you cruised the heartland in two $1.1 million dollar busses purchased from Canada, then to have the nerve to speak to the jobless and immediately fly off to Marthas Vinyard in Airforce 1, the rest of your family flying in earlier that day on another government jet at our expense, and spending $50,000 a week on your vacation estate. You Mr. President are out of touch.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Glad you figured out who Mr B really is! If this guy get re-elected kiss your sovernity away.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      As an idependent I also voted for Obama in 2008. Will not do that again. Ill vote against him.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ted

    you better knock your wives up now illegals.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Hay why not completely open up ALL the borders to anyone who wants to come here. Read your history regarding countries that did not enforce their borders, and while you are at it read what Mexico does at its southern borders stupid!

    August 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "read what Mexico does at its southern borders "

      Mexico used to be tough on Guatemalans and Hondurans, etc. under pressure by the US. Not anymore: they modified their immigration laws. Now they are similar to the US: in neither country it is a crime being without papers.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • WW

      I just checked. Mexico did recently change its immigration laws but left enforcement of the laws up to local authorities. And many local authorities in Mexico (about 98%) ignore national laws and support drug cartels & human trafficking so they will enforce immigration laws by killing the migrant worker. Until Mexico has a civil war and change comes from within, we will not support Mexico.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "Until Mexico has a civil war and change comes from within, we will not support Mexico."

      Wonderful! We do NOT support it either. The fact that we are risking our lives and leaving everything behind should be a STRONG indicator.

      -Signed: All The Former Mexicans

      ps: Every time you write something like that, 100 more jump the fence. Thanks for encouraging friends and future spouses to emigrate!

      August 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Arpaio

    Abolish the 14th amendment then..

    August 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Just for curiosity have you read all of the 14th Admendment? I lay odds you have not read a word you only listen to the BS rhetoric spewed by the social mainstream media, in otherwords a dumb sheep.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Corey

    So...why haven't they been doing this all along?

    August 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bull Halsey

    What does illegal mean? It means breaking the law, if you enter a country illegally then you should be prosecuted to the fullist or shot. No taxpayer funds for the illegals. Make Obama a one term President in 2012.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "if you enter a country illegally then you should be prosecuted to the fullist or shot."

      Not a big fan of "Due process", are ya'?

      August 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. a better life

    One can not attain a better life through illegal means. It my seem better, but then the law catches up to you.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      > One can not attain a better life through illegal means.

      Not really. Not always.

      -Signed: The millions and million of illegals that created this country and made it great.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denny

      Interesting Ramon and his Illegal friends are so happy tooting their own horn in the local Mariachi band. They don't see the writing on the wall. nor the ICE busses pulling up and parking outside the packing plant or the local mex dance hall. The 1st gen anchor babies get hauled off to Social Services.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Emmy Skaddittle

    so i don't see the problem here, they are prioritizing the cases, so the most dangerous are sent back first

    August 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Precisely. And the non-criminals get to stay (we only want the good ones!) AFTER receiving APPROPRIATE penalties, sanctions, fines, background check, test of English, go to thye end of the line (8+ years).

      August 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ramon F. Herrera

    "Where have you the proof as to your claim? Where did you get your facts from and are the verifiable?"

    The answer is very easy, John: I dare to find ONE US company or ONE church that is publicly on your side. The number is ZERO. Don't you wonder why?

    August 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
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