New Immigration Policy Begins, Canceling Some Removals
Homeland Security has begun its review of 300,000 cases of undocumented residents eligible for removal (deportation) and giving reprieves to a limited few.
Under the policy, immigration authorities will use powers of prosecutorial discretion in existing law to suspend the deportations of most immigrants who, although they have committed immigration violations (which generally are civil offenses), have not been convicted of crimes.
In particular, officials will look to halt deportations of longtime residents with clean police records who came here illegally when they were children, or are close family of military service members, or are parents or spouses of American citizens.
The cases will be examined individually, with removals being canceled for those who fit the guidelines: [More..]
Homeland Security officials said Monday that their goal is to quickly identify noncriminals on swollen immigration court dockets and close those cases, clearing the way for speedier removals of gang members, drug traffickers or foreigners who repeatedly return after being deported. Wait times for a hearing in immigration courts can now be as long as 18 months.
Same-sex marriage partners are being treated as spouses under the review:
The administration’s announcement also had an immediate impact on a case in Denver, where an immigration judge on Friday postponed the deportation of Sujey Pando, a lesbian from Mexico legally married in Iowa to an American from Colorado, Violeta Pando. Although federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages, administration officials said they would consider same-sex spouses as “family” in their review of deportation cases.
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