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. angry american momma

    IF you your here ILLEGALLY because your government is flawed then fix your government nad leave ours alone!!!! the word ILLEGAL is a term used for criminals not a race, so stop playing that card!!!! when will washiington stop seeking the support of criminals and start working for the AMERICAN PEOPLE and doing whats best for the AMERICAN PPl???

    August 20, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • without_hate

      Excellent post. Please post this on Hu-P0 when they cancel your account get an action group to sue them for discrimination toward conservative women.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • without_hate

      Excellent post.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • unbiased

      Have you ever tried to adjust the American governmet? You are not a person of power. You can not just simply say "America you are doing this wrong, now fix it". If you can not adjust our government where we are allowed to speak freely, how do you expect citizens who have no rights to fix their government?

      August 24, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. rick s.

    If the world was a place of abundance then we wouldn't need immigration laws but it's not and so we have laws to govern immigration. So these illegals should be held to that law and not receive amnesty for breaking the law. This is America, right?

    August 20, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • without_hate

      Find out the laws on citizens arrest. If the government want enforce out laws then we must. No matter what the panel does they are still here illegal. Obama can not make them legal by decree, he can refuse to enforce the laws and this is impeachable offense. This probably wont be allowed to stay but I will try to post.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      Hmm this whole immigration law bs is just racist because everyone break laws and you have these CEOs like in bank of america stealing homes from americans and we have every day people who love to break the law everyday even if it means stealing, going over the speed limit, killing people.. FREAKING casey anthony .. lets us all just go to jail

      August 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joker429

    Rick Perry for President!
    He will open the borders and end this debate!
    Business owners from across the nation support super cheap labor, and support Rick Perry, so, friend, why don't you?
    Rick Perry for 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • without_hate

      colt 45.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. WOT

    My fore fathers were illegal from Africa but they were slaves!! America has been drained by trying to take care of the world and its' house now is empty!! Aid to people who hate us, wars that should not have been, space travel that mean nothing(the world will end), million of gallons of blood going down the drain from babies killed, blood-oil (men killed for oil) Blood money (greed), if there was a place of peace on earth, I would be on my way today but HELL is ever where on EARTH!

    August 20, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Troof

    It stopped being America a looong time ago. Could someone name a country that I could reside in illegally without repercussions? That man residing at 1600 Penn Ave. NW has to go. The sooner the better. What a waste of my precious vote. But you can be sure it will not happen again. RP isn't even a consideration from this point of view.

    August 20, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Troof

    It stopped being America a long time ago. Could someone name a country that I could reside in illegally without repercussions? That man residing at 1600 Penn Ave. NW has to go. The sooner the better. What a waste of my precious vote. But you can be sure it will not happen again. RP isn't even a consideration from this point of view.

    August 20, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Communist Mindset

    All you people need to understand that there are many in power who don't regard anything you have as being your own personal wealth or property. Your money, women, children, house or anything else should be shared with those who have none. Spread the wealth.. They will call you a Nazi racist fascist if you don't want to "share".. Try dipping your hand into one of these people's piggy bank and see what happens though. It's pure hypocrisy.

    August 20, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joker429

    Communist Mindset
    Right on Brother!
    Those in power with no regard to personal property = Multinational Corporations
    Those whom yell "Nazi Racist Fascist" if you do not want to share your meager belongings = Multinational Corporations

    August 20, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Miquel

    The Aftershock Survival Summit is a gripping, no-nonsense presentation that’s quickly becoming a financial beacon in an economic tsunami.

    Read more: Aftershock Survival Summit Predicts the Unthinkable
    Important: Can you afford to Retire? Shocking Poll Results

    August 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Communist Mindset

    @Joker: Them too. Lol.. The middle class worker is being attacked by sharks on both ends of the financial spectrum. Many rich people are sneakier and more able to sway public officials, where those who are poor just dangle up their kids or something so a politician can use them as a political tool. It's all siphoning wealth from the middle class who are the largest tax paying group and the largest consumer group. Don't let corporations fool you with those cries of socialist/communist either. Even in the USSR there were rich people. They replaced one group of elites with another. Now America can't even have a border, because the rich want cheap labor and the politicians want a card to play.

    August 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tami miller

    Deport ALL illegals AND DO IT NO!

    KEEP AMERICA ENGLISH SPEAKING!!! All other immigrants have spoken English. Spanish in public and the school stystem should be FORBIDDEN. WHY are we wasteing our resources on illegals?????

    August 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • someone

      How hypocritical! Foreign languages are actually very important tools of communication worldwide. Taking foreign language classes should be MANDATORY, in fact. Monolingualist(not just monlingual, monolingualist) people just expect everyone to learn their language. Everyone around the world learns English, I find it hypocritical that in America you only have to learn one language. Learning another language actually opens up wider possibilities in communication.

      Yes, Spanish should be taught alongside English, not because we support illegal immigration but because Americans need to gain access to a greater part of human culture. Furthermore, learning another language helps to corroborate learning in the primary language and causes mutual benefit.

      August 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • someone

      I'll also point out that learning English is now mandatory in school systems, and we should try to also reach out and make an effort to learn foreign languages, as it improves our knowledge and understanding of culture and of people's cultural experiences. America, while it is the leader of the free world, is sadly not the sun around which the rest of the world revolves. Americans should be more humble and take the effort to learn a foreign language.

      August 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4765435

      It's important for young people to learn how to speak a different language. Just teaching English in school would be dumb.

      August 24, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • unbiased

      You must keep in mind that just because we speak the english language does not mean that it is the correct language. Who lived in the Americas before the Pilgrams came? The Indians. Did they speak english? No, the Europeans took their land and now the language we speak is english and it isn't actually our official language.

      August 24, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Douglas

    If they are going to still people who break the law, well illegal immigrants are not following the law... So that would seem to say send people here ILLEGALLY back to the nation they are from.
    I dont mind people moving to the U.S. legally, in fact I welcome them. But the fellows who tried to get into my car really annoys me. I think they were day laborers, and I stoped because of a stop light where they congregate to get work.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 4765435

    Send back illegal immigrants who are disobeying our laws, let people who are here obeying our laws stay. Grant people who are obeying our laws amnesty.

    August 24, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. VIVA LA MIGRA

    I think I'll move south of the US border – the place has got to be empty by now!

    August 25, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. VIVA LA MIGRA

    If we started eating them – I bet they would leave

    August 25, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
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