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. Garmin

    La Raza is Mexican for La Stupid.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Boy, if they, with no political power, no money, have achieve all this in the most powerful country in the world, I'd hate to see them after they are not stupid!!

      ps: The president of Mexico has more power -in US political currency- than many US politicos. If that is stupid...

      August 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey89

      On the real, we need to withdraw soldiers and troops from nation-building wars and bring them home. Let them soldiers pursue military careers guarding our boarders.

      I am a hapless American whose lived across the southeast. From every major city, we're helping immigrants on every benefial level. While I'm too proud to get unemployment insurance, illegal immigrants (mexicans) abuse our system through benefits. They breed at crazy levels, which the government picks up the bill, and while they do work, they also regularly benefit from foodstamps. We have sold out america! Lets get back to days of JFK and MLK. Deport these people immediately and help get this budget looser.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    About time Obama did something right. People gotta stop crying with the whole " I came here legally I filled for this paid for that blah blah blah. You think if these immigrants had a chance to come here legally they wouldn't do it?.you think they enjoy putting their lives in danger?.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Earth to Alpha Centaury: There IS intelligent life in this planet!!! WE finally identified one, name is John.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmz0212

      Wow!!!!!!!!!!! Finally we have a smart American that I agree with 200%

      August 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      In Danger.. they aren't in danger yet. Just wait till we put troops out there and start shooting them one by one when they cross the boarder. $0.89 a shot is a lot cheaper than years of court or paying for them to be thrown in jail or paying to support them and their 12 kids on welfare.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ramon F. Herrera

    Most Hispanic babies are born to US citizens.

    [John Kaufman:]
    Where have you the proof as to your claim?

    Well, it is not rocket science. There are 60 million Hispanics in the US, some 8 million are illegal. Which group do you figure has more children??

    August 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brass Tacks

      RAMON – I wonder if you only defend illegal immigrants (the VAST majority of illegal immigrants are Mexican) because you are probably of Mexican origin, as opposed to based on principal... I doubt you would be so adamant in your defense if you were from Europe or Africa or Asia, or even Argentina, Venezuela, or some other Hispanic country far away from our border and not neighboring Mexico. I have friends and business contacts from South America trying to come to the USA the legal way, and they aren't that fond of those Mexicans, and also Central Americans to some extent, who come into the USA illegally and create negative stereotypes for the rest of the Hispanic world by skirting the legal immigration system for their own benefit and then taking advantage of the benefits of being in the USA, while the rest of the world who applied legally waits for their number to be called.....

      August 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Butch

    Now states just have to step up and uphold the laws that the Fed is refusing to enforce. The will of the Americans to oppose the illegal invasion will be realized.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera


      August 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      Dirty Donkey

      August 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Butch

    66% of Americans oppose this decision. The people will find a way to protect our sovereignty.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      73.356% of statistics are made up. More seriously: It all depends on HOW you ask the questions, specially in a topic as complex as this one.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmz0212

      give it a break fool. The illegals are the ones that go and pick our fruits and vegetables because a lot of the American people and I am for sure that you are one of them are too uppity to do it. They work hard, pay taxes and take care of their families so why not leave them alone. Better yet BUTCHY BUTCH how about you going out into the fields and start picking the fruits and vegetables that the rest of us need to eat.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Judy75201

    Welcome to America! I am against calling anyone a criminal for crossing a man-made border. We are all humans, but America has too many ignorant people who are less human than most. You'll find a lot of them in churches and the republican party.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmz0212

      Could not have said it any better. good job

      August 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Butch

    It's very straightforward and the overwhelming majority of Americans have spoken loud and clear about their opposition to illegals and amnesty.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Dear son Butch: You seem to believe that the US is a democracy. We are not. We are a Republic. Our rights are not decided by popular vote, much less by Gallup Polls.

      -Signed: Jimmy Madison and His Gang of Founders

      August 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      Donkey Herrera, Rights decided by fiat – we have laws and just because Hispanics refuse to follow them doesn't mean that they shouldn't be enforced. This policy was killed in due process as the DREAM act bill. That is the way our legisltive system works.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "This policy was killed in due process as the DREAM act bill."

      Not really. SOME aspects of this policy are similar to the DREAM Act. Incidentally, aren't you concerned that you are unable to find ONE company in the US (out of 23,876,411) or ONE church that is willing to support your views. Not one?

      August 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "Rights decided by fiat"

      Exactly what rights are you referring to? I am talking about the rights of the people not to be profiled. I am talking about the rights that AZ SB-1070 tries to eliminate. What rights are you talking about?

      August 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      Yes, you are right. This policy failed in the established legislative process and therefore is an illegitimate application of executive authority. Thousands of businesses oppose illegal immigration and use E-verify, every hear of a little corporation named DuPont? Nobody cares about churches thanks to a separation of church and state.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmz0212

      Butch you really need to get a life. Stop with all the insults to other human beings whether they are illegal or legal, leave them alone. Get a life and move on with it. Better yet if you do not like what we have here in the US you can always move to Russia and be one of them.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      kmz0212 illegal aliens insult every American with their flagrant disregard of law and order. BTW you are a clown.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nate

    I think all illegal immigrants should be deported. Our economy is all ready hurting due to social security, medicaid,and other federal taxes that are going up due to population, laziness, and corruption. This will still be a long process in which we will have to pay for their welfare while they are here. I am not anti-humane but this has to stop. People will say we are all immigrants but we had generations of families here before so we have to stop this before they do.. I feel for there plight but America got to understand you cannot save everyone if so America will fall and that's what happening today...

    August 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmz0212

      well well Nate the almighty jerk. I suppose all of our senior citizens, disabled people and those that have worked all of their lives and put their hard earned money into Social Security are all lazy, HUH? I guess you are lazy then too because all you do is blog all day long.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lauren g e

    @helenhaul do us all a favor n put a bullet in your own head you nut case

    August 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nate

    I respect Mexicans if they have visas , if they do decide they are granted amnesty, they should have to back pay taxes from since they came here illegally. That will weed out the true Americans..

    August 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nini

    Illegal is illegal no matter how you look at it.
    We need to respect the laws of our country and not award those who don't.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the_dude

    Everyone hear that? That is the sound of the nails being being driven in on the coffin of obamas presidency.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "If current voting Hispanic 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 Party of Tee

      August 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Political pundits are trying to determine how long will it be between the time Latinos become a majority in Texas (already are, in Houston) and the time the GOP ceases 2 B a national political party.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JD

    Why are our elected officials letting Obama do this ??? Either they know this is wrong and support it, or they are too stupid to know what's going on. People wake up, BO is desparate for supporters and will turn us into a 3rd world country if we don't get him out.

    Please don't reply back with that BS about how he 'inherited' this mess. Even so, he has had so many chances to make things better but look at what he has done. He bailed out Wallstreet (in 4 days) and GM. He clearly takes care of the elite.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. In God I trust

    If this is not just a strategy for the president to be re-elected I will be happy. My husband came to the U.S when he was 17 yr old and he has order of deportation. However, we have spent money in lawers trying to find a way to ligalize him, since I'm a U.S citizen. We file jointly taxes and eventhough his 23yr and I'm 21yr old we do not ask for goverment benefits. I do live in fear of him been remove from the country. I'm in my 3yr at the university and my baby girl will be born this yr, but we just pray God that everything will be okay. Only ppl who are in this conditions know how hard is to live in fear that your family can be split apart. If my husband is deported I can imagen what will my daughter and my life be like. A reform will help our economy, because every imigrant

    August 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Butch

    This policy endangers honest Americans...


    August 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
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