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. American Trucker

    Hey, hold on Pedro. We A maerican truckers got naked lady mudflaps too. Just cuz it's a naked lady don't mean Mexican. Immitation being sincere flattery and all.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. like-new Stealth Schwinn

    The answer to this headline question, which should have begun, "Whom," is obvious: the policy benefits supporters of this administration. Those who cannot vote now will be able to vote later.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. @Schwinn

    You do realize that Scwinn bicycles are made in China, right? Well, they aren't really genuine Schwinn. The rights to use the trademarked name were sold. It's really Chwinn now. he he

    August 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AlongTheWay

    Only 300,000 cases? Could have sworn the common govenment/political number to toss out is 12 million illegal immagrants. Very huge difference in the numbers, for starters. If the government knows those numbers, they know where they are. And if they know where they are LAWBREAKERS need to be dealt with...not pardoned in masses. I'll consider this the next time I hear that someone's house has been broken into. No different than someone breaking into your head...and deciding to stay...AND demanding benefits (all on your dime, by the way).

    August 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlongTheWay

      Breaking into your house, that is.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheryl

      I so do agree with your comment. There are already places where the standard of living has gone done hill. That is where we are headed, if we are not careful.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • DonBeal

      That breaking into your head part sounds oddly apropos.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLS639

      They are reviewing deportation cases in the court system, not all illegal immigrants.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      eyah kick out hte irish and the itialians too.. I hate those guys..

      August 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |

    HOW come mexicans have the sun shade intallled on all their trucks? most around here also have "mexican dance" air horn system installed...
    also why mexicans have small chain wheels?

    August 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jazzzzzzz

    Love you guy , Make me laugh, when I need it. You just *never* fail me!!!! thanks bud

    August 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sam

    individuals who suffer from a serious mental or physical disability; and
    – individuals with serious health conditions. If that is the case....get them OUT of here....who needs their health issues to spread, and why should we [ the tax payers ] be responsible for " their " problems?

    August 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2 Cents

      Sam I agree with you on that!!! As if we don't have enough lazy people drawing free medical. I understand some citizens need medical assistance, but the lazy folks and illegals need to be deported back to your country and let your countries tax dollars pay for your sniffles at the emergency rooms. Geesh what next? Way to go Home Land Security, congress must have gave you a bonus to come up with that idea!

      August 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Your not paying any taxes anyway.. unless you make under 60k per year.. what do you care? Your taxes also pay for jobs for the entire town of oakride TN.. guess they forgot to mention that..

      August 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      If you look at the low priority list – it includes almost anyone. Pregnant women? If this is the case they will never leave and their kids, who are born citizens, will then sponsor them when they turn 18. It is all a crock.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • HSP2

      I agree with Sam. It's sad when people are suffering but there are hard-working Americans suffering from the same thing and paying for it out of pocket. THAT is a greater concern! We have to stop the cycle somewhere, no?

      August 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anna

    I love how the girl in the back is holding a sign that says "Justice Starts with You." Yes, it does. It starts with the crackdown on our borders and deporting those who are here illegally. And it also starts with someone punching her in the face for making a sign that looks like a first grader wrote it. Do schools not teach proper handwriting anymore?

    August 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      @ anna-Why do you hate people for wanting a better life? Would you have wanted your family to be have treated like that when they got here illegally? think thanksgiving. Your a disgrace to this country and everything it stands for.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • USN-Ret

      Handwriting ? Don't they teach proper Sign Making in classes near you. I believe it's called Lettering as in "Block". When correcting, be prepared to be corrected.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Carlos

    Its ridiculous that you americans think like this. I'm pretty sure you like working in your AC controlled room, why don't you go sign up to go work at the jobs mexicans are "taking" from you, like picking fruit in the 100 degrees wheather, when you do that, then you can start telling hispanics to get out, but in the meanwhile, be quiet and get back on your computers.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexz

      Be more than happy to let me know when I can start

      August 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      Thank you! these idiots think they are really taking something from them; and assume every illegal immigrant is a thief. its a sad sad day if they want to talk deportation then everyone needs to pack their bags and go back to where they belong.. all the white pppl back on the mayflower.. lets go.. us mexicans will keep california, arizona new mexico and texas .. so peace out

      August 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. willard

    I know that joan brewers are great than napatino thanks you

    August 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mmher

    really people why so much hate ??? and the coments wow really you have to go that low really may GOD bless each n every one of you!!! P.S. WHY IS IT ANY WHERE YOU GO THIER MEXICANS WORKN OUT IN THE STREETS DO YOU KNOW HOW HOT IT IS OUT THEIR N THEY DO THE JOB DONT COMPLAIN FOR ALL THE " truckers " TRUCKERS TO DRIVE ON RIGHT N IF THEY DIDNT DO THE JOB WHO WILL ???? IM JUST SAYN ?!!! peace love n faith

    August 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. USN-Ret

    The " Memorandum" isn't worth the paper it's written on. It has no binding authority. This appears to be a veiled attempt to appease the Latino population instead of really caring for them. Disclaimers always bother me no matter what the preceding info says.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jerry

    Who does the immigration policy change favor? Democrats, who need the Latino vote to get elected so they can continue to exploit them. Latinos have to ask themselves if their lives are any better now that the Democrats have been in power.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      its just giving law biding immigrants a heads up that they are going to the back of the list and the criminals a heads up that they can get out..

      August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    Can some explain why Immigration is concerned with any "long-time lawful permanent resident"?
    Or any "lawful" resident, for that matter?

    August 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tacobell123

      Lawful permanent residents can still be deported if they do certain things, usually commit crimes. Same thing with naturalized citizens.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TheTraveler

    Criminy ... when will we grow some balls and just get it done? Screw the "due process of law" on this. The courts will be tied up for years and years. Meanwhile, the steady flow of illegals into the US will make the deportation of other illegals seem like a drop in the bucket. Which it will be.


    The laws to do so are already in place, no arguments, no ACLU, no human rights crap. Just the law.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
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