Obama Preparing to Stop ICE From Targeting Immigration Offenders

Article author: 
Jessica Vaughn
Article publisher: 
Center for Immigration Studies
Article date: 
24 March 2014
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

On Friday, a DHS official leaked to the Los Angeles Times hints of two policy changes in the works to further reduce deportations. If implemented, we can expect deportations to drop by tens of thousands per year, and the communities where they are released can expect them to renew the criminal activity that caused them to be referred to ICE in the first place.

The first change apparently being considered would be to stop deporting illegal aliens whose "only" convictions have been for immigration offenses.

Some immigration violations are quite serious, although anti-enforcement groups like to give the impression that they are the equivalent of jaywalking. For example, alien smuggling is an immigration offense, as is international child abduction, and immigration fraud.

But perhaps most important to the anti-enforcement grievance groups, this policy change would stop ICE from removing illegal aliens who have been deported before. ICE agents would be forced to look the other way at illegal aliens committing a federal felony offense that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances. Similarly, agents would have to ignore illegal aliens who abscond from immigration court hearings.

The proposed policy could prevent ICE from removing war criminals and terrorists, not to mention suspected sex offenders, gang members, and cartel operatives...

Prosecution of immigration violators — regardless of criminal convictions — is important not only for public safety reasons, but because it helps maintain the integrity of our immigration system. To ignore repeated violations simply invites more lawbreaking, and is profoundly unfair to those trying to navigate our legal immigration system.