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. leeintulsa

    @carlos: what if we build buildings in the 100 degree heat? Can we complain?

    What about the illegals hanging and mudding sheetrock? I know rockers/mudders out of work because they need more than 3.50 an hour.

    It's the subcontractor, not the illegal, i know. If the sub didn't hire the illegal, the illegal wouldn't come. But it does take 2 to tango..

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

      How are 300,000 cases, spread all over the country, back logging the system?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carlos

    Like I've said before, go do the jobs hispanics do, and get paid 75 cents. When you do, come and talk to us.and then deport us.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian DC

      BS, We have plenty of people on welfare to do those jobs.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      You're a typical hispanic idiot!

      August 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ithink


      Do you really think we buy the 75 cents an hour wages and jobs Americans won't do? Come to Holland, Michigan and park in any of the factory parking lots and you will find the workers are mostly, and I mean mostly Mexican. American's can't even get called for an interview no matter what their experience is. So don't sit there and try to justify it with outdated facts that are no longer true. If you're talking decades ago migrant jobs working in the fields that's one thing, but that's no longer the case.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      @Brian: They don't want to pay people on welfare minimum wage to do those jobs. And ALL of our elected officials know it. Why do you think they allow "migrant workers"? You really should educate yourself on what is going on in the agricultural and other industries that employ these people. Maybe then you would look so stupid on here.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Maybe if you stopped accepting jobs for 75 cents, the wages would go up.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      @ithink: if American companies don't want to hire Americans, then why are you bashing the people they do hire? Maybe you should grow a pair and bash the companies.

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

      So what happens when the illegals become legal, and start demanding better wages? Will they be fired and more illegals brought in to take their jobs?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brown eye

      if you were here legal you would make more than .75 an hour. Besides after all the tools have been stolen and pawned you make more $$$$$

      August 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      Illegal criminal, go back to the beggar land you came from. We will find ways and means to get the job done. We do not want criminals like you to be here. FYI, coming illegallly to a country is a felony and hence you are nothing but a criminal and should be treated like one.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sean

    If your not a native american, then your an IMMIGRANT. If immigration is so difficult that people are sneaking in illegally then perhaps the problem is with the immigration process. Get a VISA, file the paperwork, pay a small paperwork fee, and you get citizenship. That's how it should be.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually, I was born here. I didn't immigrate here. That makes me native.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Well said Bob.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      If your parents were illegal then they should be deported back.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      So, Bob, the child of the illegal Mexican immigrant... you will consider him as a native as well in due form... right!

      August 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brian DC

    Seems like it helps every but lawful Americans, reason #500 as to why I think Obama does not like the U.S.

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

      @brian dc: LOL. This problem predates obama by a few hundred years.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    Anyone who supports allowing illegals to stay in the USA also supports what amounts to legal slave labor, where companies pay less for labor from these 'slaves' while they lay off American citizens to cut cost.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      Hispanics sneek in to this country to be slaves. We have slave criminals!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KathyS

    Who does this favor? Not the taxpayers who foot the bill for their FOODSTAMPS, WIC, Medical Care and lower paying jobs because employers would rather pay an illegal who want less money, more often then not less then even minimum wage, rather then pay even that.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      NO WELFARE FOR ILLEGAL CRIMINALS. I lost all the little respect I had for Obama when he announced this new rule. Looks like obama is the new fox round the corner, sly and tricky.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carlos

    People on welfare won't do those jobs. Trust me.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      and neither do all the people in the welfare/foodstamp line with tattoos all over, wanting the hard working American taxpayer to feed their illiterate children they snuck over here to deliver! We're sick of being sucked dry by illegals!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    Watch as Americans quote false rumors/innuendo/heresay/etc....

    Let the games begin....

    How about the one where you 'apply' for citizenship? Ever research the 'process' ? No, then try.... you to will stop writing or saying the words 'apply' for citizenship when you find out what that 'process' is like.....

    Or how about the one illegals are filling up our hospitals...? Ever visit an emergency room and look around? No, then go and sit in one... I did. See for yourself who's in the emergency rooms.......

    August 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ithink

      Come to Michigan and you won't have to spread falsehoods. Wrong is wrong and if they are here illegally, then they need to be deported.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      sitting in a local emergency room here in Dallas, thejre was not ONE white person! YOU GO SEE FOR YOUSELF@!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    If they're here illegally, they are criminals. The new guidelines are ignoring the fact that illegal immigrants have all broken our law, violent or not.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jinphoenix

    look it all starts from the bottom up not top to bottom. if these people come out of the dark they will start spending more which means more movement at local stores which means more middle income jobs which means the factorys start making more which means more jobs for everyone. stop tripping on pennies and reach for the dollars.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ithink

      Come to Walmart and you'll see them wiring tons of money home instead of spending it here so there goes your theory.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big George in Big D

      That is absolute hogwash! The number one source of income in Mexico is the money received from people here! The illegals here send all, but their absolutely necessary to live on, $$ back home. That's a proven fact Jack!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michelle

    I agree that the jobs that are "taken" by Mexicans from the American public are jobs they would never do anyway. Alot of Americans are very pampered and would NEVER work in the fields for hours on end for less than minimum wage without benefits. Would you?

    Also, some people have been mentioning how illegals are illegals and should be deported. But if we were to remove 12 million people off the bat our economic situation won't just stagnate it'll decline. There are many latinos out there who started off illegal and have made huge contributions to the U.S.

    I'm not so sure people care at all about the illegal status of latinos more than they worry about being "overwhelmed" by another ethnic group and culture. I mean the U.S. government did deport a ton of Mexicans back during the Depression even when many of them were U.S. citizens and had never even seen Mexico. This was a clear act of hatred and those feeling on behalf of many Americans haven't changed. So please save me the sob story about illegals stealing your tax dollars. This just isn't true.

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

      Quit acting like the only jobs they have are field jobs. It's simply not true. Are you home bound that you never venture out to stores, restaurants, factories, etc?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlou

      To the people who say that they do the jobs that Americans don't want that is not true there are plenty of Amearicans who have lawn services, also there are people who will do farm work ,the problem is that the ones that want the service do not want to pay.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sskiper

    All cases are conducted case by case anyway there's nothing new to that, that's why it takes so long, now they're going to make it even longer after a further "review".

    August 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ct

    It's illegal immigration. No IMMIGRATION. BIG DIFFERENCE CNN

    August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RU Serious

    Who does the new policy favor? Why, the democrats, of course. They are just pandering to the Hispanic vote, doing a back door amnesty program. ABO in 2012. Since Obama did not effect an immigration plan (or any other for that matter....), this is the next best thing, throw a bone to the hispanic voters and throw the gauntlet down to get eventual demographics favorable to the Democrats. ABO in 2012, gotta get rid of this guy.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Risky

    Has anyone of you commenters considered the fact that the anniversary of 9-11 is in a few weeks? Part of this immigration law is to crack down on potential terrorism, explaining why they are paying alot of attention to the background of violations and crimes of each individual.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
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