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. Jerry

    KJ, you need to stop "slurping" the NObama spiked KoolAid. FYI. An election can be won or lost by one illegal vote.

    "Riding around in a million dollar RV is cheaper than flying?" YES, and on the taxpayer's dime, that's even better.

    Get real! Man, get off the "DOLE" and get a real job.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kraznodar

      Jerry, If I were 8 years old your childish name calling would impress me. I'm not and it doesn't so grow up or shut up.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ray

    OldBoldGold, yoiu forgot about the lesson of the Teutoburg forest and Arminius.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Which one? The "I'll pretend to be your friend long enough to get you in my power then prove I am your enemy" or the "You guys must be dumber than I thought to send this moron to get me"? By the way, outside of Rome his preferred name was Hermann and his victory is still celebrated by some even today.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texian

      All illegal alines need to be rounded up and deported. Their children born here need to have their citizenship revoked since the citizenship was obtained by the criminality of the birth parent. Any employer or other person or agency that knowing aids and abetts illegal aliens need to be arrested, jailed, their personal and busness assetts seized.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |

    YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN(FISH CAN & TENT CITY USA)...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

    ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" FLASH MOB AND 911 = OSLO BOMBING(there was bombing just as in 911; however, there was no shooting in either NORWAY or Arizona….instead tear gas and theater on faces of multiculturalism maniacs while calling YOU a terrorists) !!!

    http://stateofterror.blogspot.com/ or http://stateofterror.wordpress.com/

    Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ..YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (psychotic Tucson)


    Don't worry O(s)bama, you just saved lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS(DEAD & ILL) as those America best (Navy Seals) would also grew older and then you already know how it goes !!!


    August 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeffinIL

      Better living through chemicals.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JeffinIL

    So they don't want to deport the criminals, they want to deport the criminal criminals. I see.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sarah-fl

    Hey wait til Prez Calderon here's about they way his people are being treated, the nerve of us American's not giving them are homes, jobs, medical and education for free to them!

    August 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    It means more Obama voters! Duh.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jarda Cervenka

    my friend, a Greek PhD student Angelos P...... slept in the lab and ate what we brought him, so he could finish his (excellent) thesis in time not to overstay the visa. He left on the last day of his legal stay. He thought it will be against the law to stay – and he loved this country, too. Compare with 11 millions of illegal imigrants we alow to break laws. Often from countries which dislike us and come only to make money not to invest in here but to send home. Not very intelligent policy!

    August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jason K

    America makes me more sick every day I'm here. Everyone except those that work hard are represented. I plan to leave the moment he oppertunity arrives.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      You're lucky. I'm too old to startover.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DEW

    not americans, american kids got to pay for school illegals get it for free.and this post to be ok.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ArizonaYankee

    Just more Obama / Socialist Democrat Votes. To he11 with the country, we want votes.......

    August 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. leeintulsa

    On my street, there are 12 houses. 7 have mexicans. 2 have white losers – meth heads/welfare lifers. 1 is an old white lady with a degenerate white son, then there's us and another middle-class whitish family.

    I don't know the mexicans' status. 2 of those houses have troublemakers. The rest have fine people just trying to get along and even assimilate. They bring us melons and i help him work on his car. I introduced him to a snow shovel this winter lol.

    I'm kinda sick of all mexicans being dubbed illegal. More are legal than most think.. So says my whitish uncle – retired air force currently working homeland security at tulsa's airport.

    Just getting the hate out of the equation would clear up so much.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Maybe you should move?

      August 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AskTheMexican

    This is good temporary news. Lets focus on the big picture, yes we do have human beings crossing our borders to live tha better life and we also gave those here due to trafficking, but we should focus on those posing a threat instead of those whom are posing no harm. By no means to I mean to post this to argue with anyone, as I am sure theirs a bunch of opinions, but literally guys we should be proud that people want to live here. Gives me that pride that people will actually risk everything to come over. However, people should be informed of our legal process and should work with organizations to help them get there in a civil manner. Before I get bashed, which i've seen most comment threads, just want to clarify that I am a legal citizen of this country and my parents went through the legal process to become part of this nation. Peace and love, enjoy your weekend.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AskTheMexican

      Excuse the typos, lol .

      August 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeffinIL

      Yes. Everyone should be free to just come live here so long as they're nice.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @askthemexican: are you the dude that writes the column? Good stuff, keep it in urban tulsa 🙂

      August 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Why do you point out in your post that you are legal and that your parents came here legally?

      August 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AskTheMexican

      Not necessarily, however, it would be nice if we could all do that everywhere, but with this looneys around not going to happen. They should get informed and use appropiate channels to get citizenship, like others do. I just think we should stop all this hate going on, work together for a resolution instead of bashing everyone. Trust me, it will not get us nowhere.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • AskTheMexican

      @Bob, I know how these comments get, I am trying to stay civil as most should. People complain all the time, but will never work together with organizations for a resolution.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gary

    What part of YOU BROKE THE LAW don't they understand? Their logic would call for differing levels of law breakers, those requiring just a wink and a nod; a slap on the hand; a kick in the seat; or jail. Maybe that's how the Mexican Federal Police operate with their payoffs and discriminatory practices, but not here. You broke the law, you should suffer the same consequences as anyone doing the same. Now that I think about it, isn't that how Hitler operated – Jews and non-whites being held to the law more harshly than caucasian Germans?

    August 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      it is a lot simpler ... no resources to send them back, therefore prioritize on those who are more dangerous. Wonna kick them all out .. ? fine, pay more taxes so that the government you hate so much can actually do what you ask .. gotta chose which side you are, the one of your own wallet or the one of your country.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tomas

    All so foolish... the powers that be WANTED illegals for cheap labor/nannies. When the economic tide turns they have ALWAYS been good scape goats. Fact is, immigration is a red herring to keep small minds off the REAL ball. MILTARY SPENDING SPENDING SPENDING FOLKS> Cut it by 40% tomorrow, mothball 4 aircraft carriers and bring da boys home!

    August 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Cogent points you're making. The government has always been good at throwing out red herrings whenever they needed to move the focus off a hot topic onto a cooler one. That doesn't dismiss the issue, however, of illegal immigration. It's not the government making the public angry about this debacle. It is the simple fact that laws are not made to be broken. If we are expected to obey laws, so should those who enter our country. Why have any process for legal immigration if 12 million have successfully flaunted those very laws? You are absolutely on target when you say illegal immigration has been allowed to work the unskilled jobs. The problem with that is that they, for lack of a better word, breed. To work, they must steal SSNs from law-abiding citizens and do whatever is called for to stay under "the wire".

      Now, of course, we have Los Zetas, probably the most violent gang in Mexico, trafficking....ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.
      They are bringing big rigs jammed with up to 250 at a time, into this country. Is that what we want happening on our soil?

      This is no longer about the occasional Mexican citizen hoping for a better life. This is about violation of borders and laws. This is about violation of International law. This is about murder, abuse, kidnapping, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and everything that goes with it.

      Do we wait till we have cells of Mexican drug smuggling, human trafficking terrorists in our cities, threatening violence against the public before we act?

      I know how odd that sounds. But, what part of it is not already happening????

      August 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ArizonaYankee

    Judging by the photo, middle class white women remain the dumbest voters in the country. They are generally clueless, which is why Obama got elected in the first place. and they seem to continue the dumb down while he takes the country down the tubes right before their very eyes......Really Dumb......

    August 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
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