The Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria such as attending school, having family in the military or are primarily responsible for other family members’ care.
The move, announced in letters to Congress, won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had chided President Obama for months for the pace of deportations and had argued he had authority to exempt broad swaths of illegal immigrants from deportation.
“Today’s announcement shows that this president is willing to put muscle behind his words and to use his power to intervene when the lives of good people are being ruined by bad laws,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat.
In the letters to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases and see who meets the new criteria on a case-by-case basis.
“This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety,” she said. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.”
The new rules apply to those who have been apprehended and are in deportation proceedings, but have not been officially ordered out of the country by a judge. Miss Napolitano said a working group will try to come up with “guidance on how to provide for appropriate discretionary consideration” for “compelling cases” in those instances where someone has already been ordered deported.
It was unclear how many people might be affected by the new rules, though in fiscal year 2010 the government deported nearly 200,000 illegal immigrants who it said did not have criminal records.
The Obama administration has argued for months that it did not have authority to grant blanket absolution, and Miss Napolitano stressed that these cases will be treated individually, though the new guidance applies across the board.
In June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles interior immigration law enforcement, issued new guidance expanding authority to decline to prosecute illegal immigrants. The goal, ICE leaders said, was to focus on their priority of catching illegal immigrants who have also committed other crimes or are part of gangs.
The chief beneficiaries of the new guidance are likely to be illegal immigrant students who would have been eligible for legal status under the Dream Act, which stalled in Congress last year.
This is blatant Hispandering. Obama is losing voters among independents, African Americans, even some democrats. So, he needs a group of voters. And, if illegal immigrants continue to violate the law by voting in elections they shouldn't, who cares as long as the Annointed One wins, right? And if some of those terrorists who are supporting lil Ahmed happen to be jihadists, that's too bad. Because, as we all know, the real terrorists are the bitter clinger white Judeo-Christians, right, big sis?