Aug 19, 2011

Imigration Politics: Who May Qualify to Remain in U.S. Under New Obama Immigration Policy

An apparent let up on the crackdown. When the John Morton memo was leaked in June, the Republicans went on the attack. We expect they will rise up again against this latest Obama announcement. 

WSJ: In deciding who to deport, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department (announced that it) will apply “common sense guidelines,” Cecilia Munoz, the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, wrote. She links to a June 17, 2011 memo written by John Morton, director of U.S. Custom and Immigration Enforcement, which spells out the sort guidelines that will be used.

In deciding whether to prosecute an individual, Morton writes, immigration officials should consider such factors as:

  • whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative, has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard;
  • the person’s criminal history, including arrests, prior convictions, or outstanding arrest warrants;
  • the person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships;
  • the person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors and the elderly;
  • whether the person has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent;
  • whether the person is the primary caretaker of a person with a mental or physical disability, minor, or seriously ill relative;
  • whether the person or the person’s spouse is pregnant or nursing.
  • the person’s length of presence in the United States;
  • the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States, particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child;
  • the person’s pursuit of education in the United States, with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution;

Morton cautions that the list of factors he provides is not exhaustive and that no one factor is determinative of whether a person will stay or go.

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