U.S. Weighing the Cutback of Deportations
Thousands of undocumented immigrants illegally in the United States that do not have any serious criminal record could be given a shield from deportation under a change in policy being weighed by senior government officials in the U.S.
If a change is adopted following the review that President Barack Obama ordered, it could limit the number of deportations of people whose criminal record is minimal or none existent, but have committed repeated violations of the immigration law, such as entering illegally into the country on a repeated basis after being deported or by failing to comply with an order of deportation.
The new move, which was confirmed by people close to the matter, would not be considered sweeping changes that activists are seeking. They want the President to expand the program of two years, which grants work permits to the immigrants that were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children, to include more groups, such as the parents of any child born in the United States.
John Sandweg was the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director until February. He recently said he promoted those policy changes in immigration for the immigrants that did not have serious criminal records prior to his departure.
Sandweg said Jeh Johnson the Secretary of Homeland Security was weighing the possible changes.
An advocate for immigration who discussed the review the White Administration confirmed the changes were being considered.
The policy changes that the advocate for immigration and Sandweg outlined would change an existing priority category that now includes any immigrant that has re-entered illegally after being previously deported and those immigrants who are did not leave after receiving a deportation order. These people would have their names removed from the priority list.
The rest of the priority categories are focused on people who recently crossed the border as well as immigrants who pose a national security risk, public safety risk or who have previously been convicted of a crime. Some of the categories might be changed or refined, and other could also be added.
The possible changes come during a review ordered by the president on how deportation policy can be made more humane.
While at the same time, comprehensive legislation on immigration reform has been stalled in the House by Republicans after being passed last year by the democratically led Senate.