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. epicjourney

    I would think this is reasonable on the face of it – given the large numbers and the limited resources available you need to prioritize. Any sensible manager would agree, it sounds like those opposed to this are partisan bickering.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Obama is not our manager. He is President of the United States and his job is to enforce our laws.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    As an independent I voted for Obama in 2008. I support many of the things he has done as president. However, I will not vote for him again because of this. In fact, I will vote against him.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dink

      Racism is contagious.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Maybe you should read the comment before pulling the trigger on the race card – dink. Notice the part where I mentioned I voted for Obama in 2008?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      @dink – voting for some one just because of their race is idiocy.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cee

      Looks like Dink is the racist one – must be trying to tell us he caught it from someone.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diver

      Not in my case. I've always been a "racist."

      Good genes, I guess.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Diver

    That moronic chick in the pic grooves on helping her country commit suicide.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      I guess her job isn't the one getting stolen...

      August 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diver

      Not just jobs, but the whole shebang.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KcCritic

    I agree hispanics are hard workers, but there are many hard working Americans that are out of work because jobs are beign done/taken by illegals at a much cheaper rate. I have no problem with people coming from other countries in search of a better life for their families, just do it the RIGHT way, legally.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      That's a bunch of stereotyped propaganda bunk! They aren't any harder working than anyone else!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dude

      yeah you see the people that have lost their jobs that were making $30,000+ a year goning to all the farms in america looking to pick fruit now. WHAT EVER. If something needs to be reformed that will also impact illegal immiragtion is the welfare system, this get more abused in the US than alcohol.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Burbank

    I wonder how that woman with that big sign would feel if it was her job that was stolen??? Bet that sign would say something different in a heartbeat and it wouldn't be pretty!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DagnyTag

    Translation: Back Door Amnesty....brought to you by the most arrogant, self righteous, hypocritical ideology available – Liberalism (puking).

    August 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michelle

    I agree with you Your Face.

    I wouldn't want to have illegal immigration continue but I also don't believe in hating on hardworking people just because some people think they're a plague on our society.
    Old Timer, you state illegal is illegal. Ok, I get it. But what about ALL the illegal actions the U.S. government has taken in the past? Like, let's say deporting latino U.S. citizens..CITIZENS! in hundreds of thousands! Does this upset you? I'm sure it doesn't. The U.S. is also partially responsible for much of the immigration. How you may ask? Well, lets look at Guatemala. In the 50's, The U.S. didn't like how democratically elected Pres Guzman ran govt particularly his land reforms which promised land to the poor. Why? Because it got in the way of capitalist interests like those of the United Fruit Company. America responded in kind by organizing a coup d'etat. The fuling dictator and his death squads attempted to wipe out a huge chunk of Guatemalans. By the way, these death squads were trained by U.S. military. So literally, hundreds of thousands of guatemalans have had to leave their home country to the U.S. for this reason. THis is the case in most latin american nations-Trujillo, Batista, the Somozas. All these U.S. backed dictators led to huge exoduses.

    THe situation is more black and white than it seems and the U.S. has to take responsibilities for messes it is atleast partially if not mostly responsible for.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dude

    Today was my kids first day at school. I was amazed at the amount of kids in her class that could only speak spanish. One lady was saying (in English) that you just have to ask "banjo?" and he will understand that you are asking him if he needs to use the bathroom.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • swpoet

      I sympathize with the poor teachers who are being criticized because of low test scores when the first thing they have to do is teach these kids English so they can start the education process. Not to mention the other kids who are put on the back burner while precious education time is spent bringing the illegals up to where they can start the learning process. Additonal costs to have teaching materials in two languages, hiring bi-lingual teachers...on and on.....

      August 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CANative

    DEPORT them ALL now and quick someone toss the President in there too!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jchavez

      you clearly are a racist person do you remember where the first American came from. If you don't remember they came from across the ocean to be specific from england they were also illegal aliens.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Actually jchavez the first Americans came from Asia over a land bridge across the Bering Sea. Thousands of years later it was invaded by colonizers from Europe. Mainly Spain and Portugal. Later from Dutch and English. Whats your point?

      August 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Really?

    It's in the word. Infact, it is the word... ILLEGAL Alien/Immigrant. Illegal means you broke the law, so you should suffer the consequences. The country would be a better place if every single illegal immigrant was deported. If they want to jump through the legal hoops to become a legal citizen, then by all means, come on over. We should not be spending a single penny on any illegal alien, especially the anchor babies and their families. A baby born in the U.S. by 2 illegal immigrants is still an illegal, and should be deported along with the parents immediately.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      You're a disgusting person. You and anyone who's as ignorant as you.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Dear Michelle – You have no grounds to call that person disgusting. I read nothing in his post that was in the least bit racist? He or she just said deport illegals.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob

    Based on the partial list of low priorities, that will cover about 95% of illegal immigrants in this country. Nice to know that Obama and the democrats are selling out the country for future votes.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Yes – Aparently its not their priority to enforce our laws.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. grvol

    The sorry excuse for a president just wants their votes. He makes me want to vomit blood.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Burbank

    If that woman's job was stolen by an illegal and she lived in a sanctuary city where whites are treated with openly resentful, envious hostility, that sign would say something else!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pete H

    Let the ones carrying the signs carry the cost as well! Honestly; I can't see how ANY taxpayer, whatever their ethnicity, would think that carrying the financial load of millions of illegal immigrants was a good idea!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Capt Dan

    What part of "ILLEGAL" do these people not understand ? Maybe that is a good start for creating jobs. Hire a whole bunch of bus drivers to take everyone in this country here ILLEGALLY back to the border or take them to a pier where the boat is waiting to take them HOME ! ! ! While your at it, empty the prisons of every ILLEGAL person and send them to the nearest border too ! Get every ILLEGAL person off welfare/social security and any other TAXPAYER FUNDED program, get them out of schools (public, private along with every college) and let them come back LEGALLY ! ! IF they have been a good citizen during their stay here, they can be put first in line ! Right after anybody who is now trying to enter the country legally. Seems like common sense to me ! ILLEGAL means exactly that, you are a criminal doing something ILLEGAL.........What's the problem ? ? ?

    August 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
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