DHS letting deportable illegal aliens go if they could get green card (John Morton)
In a new and more lenient policy, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has instructed the agency's legal office to stop the deportation proceedings of foreign nationals who may now be eligible for a green card.
South Florida immigration attorneys and activists said the move is the first solid evidence of more tolerance by ICE toward some foreign nationals facing removal to their homelands.
Affected are possibly tens of thousands who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition for them. The immigrants who will benefit must also not have a criminal conviction.
This policy was disclosed via a memo from John Morton, head of ICE; in the memo he wrote: "Where there is an underlying application or petition and ICE determines . . . that a non-detained individual appears eligible for relief from removal, [its attorneys] should promptly move to dismiss proceedings." The new policy is cheered in the article by Cheryl Little of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. In the past, some or most of those covered by the new policy would be deported, but with the new "backdoor amnesty" push from the DHS, they'll get to stay.
To a very, very small extent policies like this are reasonable: ICE says they want to concentrate on the criminals first and points out that they can only deport 400,000 people per year. To a far greater extent, this is indeed a backdoor amnesty and potential illegal aliens in foreign countries will no doubt rush to take advantage of it.
The way to block things like this would have been to do things like really press Janet Napolitano on such policies, as I suggested over nine months ago. No one in the mainstream media is going to really press Obama administration officials, and citizens aren't filling the gap.