USA Immigration News
U.S. Starts Reviewing Deportation System
Friday, 18 November 2011
November 17, 2011, the U.S has started reviewing all deportation cases and is beginning a nationwide training program for enforcement agents and prosecuting lawyers.
The review of deportation cases was carried out by Department of Homeland Security before being handed to immigration courts. According to Homeland Security officials, the accelerated triage of the court docket, about 300,000 cases, is intended to allow severely overburdened immigration judges to focus on deporting foreigners who have committed serious crimes or who pose a risk to the national security.
Together with the review, the training program is expected to guide immigration agents on closing deportations that fall outside the department's priorities. The training program would bring big changes to the immigration courts and to enforcement strategies of field agents nationwide. These are efforts by government to put policy, which was announced in June, into practice.
The policy was described in a June 17 memorandum by John Morton, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to the policy, the Obama administration should scale back deportations of illegal immigrants who are young foreign students, military service members, elderly people or close family of U.S. citizens, among others. The Latino and other U.S. immigrant communities raised expectations when this policy became known.
For immigration agents, the policy will encourage the use of prosecutorial discretion when deciding whether to let the immigrants stay in the U.S. or pursue a deportation.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mr. Morton indicated that although the number of illegal immigrants would not decrease, they still requested agents and courts to focus on deporting the worst offenders, including national security risks, criminal convicts and those who repeatedly violate immigration laws. Many immigration offenses, including being present in the United States without legal status, are considered as civil violations only.
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